Aucuba Mr. Goldstrike, Spotted Laurel
If you’re looking for an easy and showy shrub for well protected partial shade area Mr. Goldstrike Spotted Laurel, Aucuba japonica is your man. Large glossy green leaves are heavily speckled with bright gold. The more sun it receives the more intense the spotting. Tolerant of dark shade, but golden spots will be less intense. Can grow up to 8′ tall, but usually stays closer to 4′ in St. Louis.
Plant Mr. Goldstrike in part sun to shade. Amend soil with compost and add a starter fertilizer like Biotone Starter Plus when planting. Water regularly through the first 3 years to encourage a healthy root system. Drought tolerant once established. While Spotted Laurels are hardy in St. Louis they need to be planted in areas that will have protection from harsh winter winds. Readily hardy in St. Louis city can be borderline in the county.