How to Grow Cleyera - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Bush Category   /   2023

Cleyera, or Ternstroemia gymnanthera, is an evergreen shrub native to Taiwan. It can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide, and its glossy, dark green leaves make it an attractive plant for landscaping. Cleyera can be grown in full sun or partial shade, and it does best in moist, well-drained soil.

How to Grow Cleyera - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Cleyera plant? Common name: Cleyera Botanical name: Ternstroemia Gymnanthera Family: Theaceae Genus: Ternstroemia Species: T. Gymnanthera Plant type: Evergreen shrub Features: Glossy dark green foliage Mature size: 3-6 metres (10-20 ft) Sun exposure: Full sun Soil type: Loamy, Sandy Growth rate: Medium When it comes to growing a plant, Cleyera is about average in complexity. Its common name is Cleyera and its botanical name is Ternstroemia Gymnanthera. It belongs to the family Theaceae and the genus Ternstroemia. The species is T. Gymnanthera. It is an evergreen shrub and has glossy dark green foliage. It is a medium-sized plant, growing to 3-6 metres (10-20 ft) in height. It prefers full sun and its soil type is loamy or sandy. The growth rate is medium.

Plant Size

How big can it be? The plant is usually between 50 centimeters to 1.5 to 3 meters in height. This makes the plant a good size for most gardens and yards. The plant does well in full sun to partial shade and needs well-drained soil to thrive.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? known as the Japanese cedar, the cleyera is a broadleaf evergreen that is native to Japan, Taiwan, and parts of China. It is a popular ornamental plant in many parts of the world, and is also used as a bonsai tree. The cleyera has a dense, upright growth habit and can reach a height of 15-20 feet, with a spread of 10-15 feet. The dark green leaves are oblong and have serrated edges. The small, white flowers bloom in spring and are followed by black berries. The cleyera is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, but prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is relatively drought-tolerant once established, and is also resistant to salt spray and deer browse.

Cleyera Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Bush
Family Theaceae
Origin East Asia, Japan, Korea, India

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? When given the proper care, a Cleyera plant can last for many years. These plants are known for their longevity, and with the right conditions, they can thrive for a very long time. If you are looking for a plant that will last you for many years to come, consider a Cleyera.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? The plant prefers a temperature of 64.4-77 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 50-53.6 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. The plant should not be exposed to temperatures lower than 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit.


What about the humidity? The plant prefers high humidity and spraying is required, especially in winter when the heating is on. Place the pot on a tray with wet pebbles so that the bottom of the pot does not touch the water.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Common cleyera (Cleyera japonica) is an evergreen shrub that can grow to a height of 15 feet (4.5 meters). It has leathery, dark-green leaves and produces white or pink flowers. The plant is native to Japan, Taiwan, and China. It prefers bright, diffused light and penumbra (partial shade). Adult plants need several hours of sunshine every day, but you need to make shade during the hottest hours.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Cleyera? The soil should be well drained, with an acidic pH of 4.5 to 5.5. If the acidity is insufficient, peat should be added. It is possible to take one part peat, humus, turf, and sand, with two parts leaf land. You can add one part land from under a pine forest. Drainage is mandatory.

Watering Time

How much I must water Cleyera? The reason you should water this plant deeply is to encourage a strong root system. The roots of the plant should never be allowed to dry out, as this will kill the plant. The plant should be watered every day during the summer, and every other day during the winter. You can use rainwater or water from the refrigerator for your plant.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. The best time to use liquid fertilizer is from spring to autumn, and you can use fertilizer for orchids. It is especially recommended for young plants to use fertilizer with a high phosphorus dose. Organic fertilizers are useful.


How to reproduce Cleyera? Although the Cleyera plant can be propagated by both seed and cuttings, it is generally quite difficult to reproduce by seed. It is best to take half-lingering apical cuttings in the beginning of spring, cut off the apical stem at an angle, and remove the lower leaves. Place the cutting in a mixture of peat and perlite or peat with sand, and root under partial shade using heteroauxin in a greenhouse (or covered with polyethylene) at a temperature of 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Rooting usually takes 6-8 weeks. Remember to periodically moisten the substrate during rooting. When transplanting, prick the top to stimulate branching. It is possible to reproduce Cleyera by seeds, which in late autumn or spring are sown in a mixture of peat and sand to a depth of about 2.5 cm and germinate at a temperature of 68-75.2 degrees Fahrenheit. However, germination can be quite difficult and it is often best to start with cuttings.


Why Cleyera won't bloom? Since Cleyera is an evergreen plant, it can bloom at any time of the year. The flowers are small, white, and have five petals. They are very fragrant and clustered together. The blooming season is typically in the spring.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Cleyera? Common cleyera (Ternstroemia gymnanthera) is an evergreen shrub that blooms with white flowers in springtime. It's an excellent plant for hedges, screens, and foundation plantings. When growing common cleyera in containers, you'll need to transplant it every year when it's young and every 2-3 years when it's an adult. The roots of common cleyera are very strong, so they often grow through the drainage holes in the bottom of pots. When this happens, it's time to transplant the plant into a larger pot.

Caring The Cleyera

How to care the plant? The plant should be kept on the street during summer, but be aware of drafts and wind. In spring, cut weak shoots and in order to get branches, pinch the tops of branches. The plant will also need to be bathed and washed regularly.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Cleyera plant? The main thing - to provide her with a comfortable temperature and humidity. The room should be warm - not lower than + 16-18 degrees. In winter, it is better to put a pot of plant on a warm windowsill or in a special greenhouse. It is advisable to spray the leaves of the cleyera weekly warm water. The plant is very fond of moisture, but the waterlogging of the soil should be avoided. The frequency of watering is determined by the state of the soil - it should be moderately moist. It is advisable to use soft water for irrigation.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Cleyera poisonous? Sometimes, people may be curious about whether the Cleyera plant is poisonous or not. The answer is no. The plant is not poisonous. However, every part of the plant, including the berries, contains saponins. Saponins are a type of chemical compound that can cause stomach upset and vomiting if ingested in large quantities. Therefore, it is best to keep this plant away from small children and pets.