How to care for and maintain your bonnet (Euonymus europaeus)

It will be two years or so that in Gardenprue we talked about the winged Bonnet.

Well. Today we are going to another bonnet, of the same genus (Euonymus) although somewhat different and perhaps better known than the winged one. The normal or eponymous bontero is a shrub with a flowering not as spectacular as others (Bignonia) but its fruiting and its colors in autumn make it very attractive to plant as a shrub hedge. If you want to know a little more about him, keep reading.


There is no doubt that spring and a large part of summer reserve us an explosive, massive and excessive color due to the flowering and subsequent fruiting of most ornamental species. Now we have terraces and gardens with a density, a chlorophyll green and colors that we will surely be the envy of our neighbors.

However, autumn comes very quickly and the colors go quickly and the garden begins to lose its color… NO!

If we know how to combine certain plants and shrubs we will be able to have color almost all year round and one of these plants is the Bonnet or eponymous! It is a shrub of about 2 or 3 meters, not too spectacular in its flowering. Its vegetative form is also considered common but the fruits … oh my friend! the fruits.

These are the true stars of this ornamental shrub. I don’t need to show you much more if you’ve already seen the cover photo, right? Come on, I’ll leave you another photo. This time so you can see that in addition to the fruits, the leaves also exploit their reddish power during the fall.

Exactly, like the winged bonnet we are talking about here, although the latter exceeds it in intensity.

Bonetero as it is, we must remember that belongs to a traditional family ( Celastraceae ) the vast majority of genres, and thus species are tropical climate as mentioned in the article of the winged bonetero.

As you are thinking, the Bonnet has late flowering , at the end of summer, giving the coated orange fruits  well into autumn , and even part of winter. The only downside we can find in this tree is that just like the winged bonnet we could achieve a good crown density, in this case it will cost us a little more. It is usually a somewhat more scattered shrub in foliage. Still, it is a prized ornamental.


It was easy to work, hard, light in color, creamy white and very very smooth. It was commonly used for toothpicks, needles, comb spindles and even for the manufacture of smoking pipes due to its resistance to heat. In fact, the common English name is “spindle” (spindle).


It is cold weather. In Spain we can find it in the northern half of the peninsula. At lower latitudes it is no longer found naturally. Hence its distribution is transferred to the rest of central and northern Europe. It is typical of mountainous areas as it can withstand frosts down to -15ºC. In addition, it is usually found as a typical understory shrub, closely associated with oak areas. This habitat, therefore, defines its lighting preferences, these being semi-shadow if possible or shade.


It supports alkaline soils, but normally, being found in understory areas, it is also tolerant of acidic soils, typical of forests. Of course, the soil will not be a problem as long as it is well drained and with a certain more or less constant humidity. It is not a drought shrub. The distribution in Spain (from the northern half upwards) proves it.


We have to take into account that it is an ornamental that being of shady conditions, thanks to the protection of wooded areas, in a garden where we do not have that foliar coverage density, we must provide a more abundant irrigation to avoid wilting due to drought. Even so, irrigation should be moderate since due to the climate, the development areas are not usually especially dry (except for the summer).


It does not have serious incidences but it can be the natural reservoir of hibernation of some aphids or aphids that affect horticultural crops such as potatoes, peaches, beets or beans. Anyway, this is almost testimonial. These problems would occur if the density of this species was very high and near horticultural crops. It is not usually pruned severely and it is better to leave it free, except for the typical touch-ups to shape the aerial part of the bush (that typical branch that escapes us and does not look good).

If you want to consult other late-flowering ornamentals, we recommend that you also visit:

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