Rainbow Fetterbush

Availability: Out of stock

Shade-Loving Variegated Rainbow Fetterbush

  • Rare Evergreen Perfect for Shade and Partial Shade
  • Drooping Shape with Freeform Texture
  • Gracefully Arching Branches Covered with Attractive Pointed Leaves
  • Striking Red, Zigzagging Stems
  • Showy Leaves Variegated Mix of Bronze, Pink, Cream and Dark Green
  • Fragrant, Creamy-White Flowers with Tender Pink Bud Clusters
  • Great Cut Flower Arrangements
  • Burgundy Fall Color
  • Very Easy Care
  • Commonly Called Dog Hobble
  • Deer Don't Prefer the Taste

Designers love the gracefully arching form and dynamic variegated foliage of Rainbow Fetterbush (Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow'). These eye-catching accent shrubs are such an easy way to brighten up your shady spots.

Each leaf is a masterpiece of bronze, cream, pink and deep green. No two leaves are alike, and the shrub delivers an outstanding display year-round.

The foliage stays evergreen and is held on striking long, red stems that twist and turn back and forth. This multi-stemmed evergreen shrub is a cane-grower that adds an airy, breezy texture.

Savvy gardeners look for plants to add kinetic movement. Long Rainbow Leucothoe canes spin and twirl, playing in the wind. As the foliage ruffles and flutters, its calming susurrus also covers up any discordant urban sounds nearby.

Rainbow is a special variety that also features fragrant flowers. Showy drooping clusters of bright pink flower buds appear at the ends of the canes; and open in early spring to bell-shaped white blooms.

Let their fragrance delight you and your guests. Place Rainbow Fetterbush in a high-profile area, so everyone will enjoy their scent.

Cut the flowers and foliage for filler in cut flower arrangements. Or, let them remain as an early nectar source for honey bees and butterflies.

In fall, the foliage burnishes to a burgundy hue. It's a glorious display to celebrate the end of the season.

  • Rainbow Fetterbush can be tightly maintained, although no pruning is necessary. Let it grow out to its full height and spread with a six-foot spacing. Keep it clipped as a shaped groundcover as short as 12 inches.

    With vibrant coloration, versatility, and carefree nature, Rainbow is a hard-working addition to the garden. No wonder we have professional garden designers visiting our site looking for this beautiful workhorse.

    Order in-demand Rainbow Fetterbush today!

    Our expert plantsmen take great pride in developing magnificent, commercial-grade plant material for you. Inventory is limited, so we recommend that you order enough to finish your project at once to avoid disappointment.

    How to Use Rainbow Fetterbush in the Landscape

    Rainbow Fetterbush can be a single specimen, a long hedge and a mass planting to brighten and fill an open shady area. It's impossible to go wrong with this delightful plant.

    It's best to select protected sites that are not windswept. Rainbow Fetterbush can enliven mature evergreen trees planted in a generous drift in a new mulched bed.

    Add them to mixed borders as a soft, year-round filler with gorgeous ornamental features. Repeat their use at the edge of the woods to create a splashy Fairy Path.

    Use Rainbow Fetterbush to be a visual bridge for many nearby plants. The foliage compliments flowering plants on both the warm end of the spectrum, as well as cool-toned blooms.

    It is a natural companion plant to Rhododendron, because this Leucothoe thrives in acid soil and in full to partial shade. It will also tolerate sun if the soil remains damp, and is not allowed to dry out.

    Use as lush facer shrubs to easily hide the bare stems of "leggy" plants placed behind them. Keep them clipped or give them room to spread out.

    Weave multiples throughout your landscape. Tie the whole look together with these colorful evergreen shrubs.

    To create a solid hedge, plant them three to five feet apart on center. Go closer for a fuller look, or if you'll keep them trimmed up. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

    #ProPlantTips for Care

    No need to worry about sun conditions, but you do need to plant in a sheltered spot protected from winter winds. This is especially true in the coldest zones.

    They prefer well-drained soils that are kept evenly moist. Apply supplemental water as needed, and utilize a three-inch layer of pine bark or pine straw mulch to cover the root system to cut down on surface evaporation.

    Prune in late winter to shape. Rainbow Fetterbush can be easily maintained as small as one to two feet tall and wide.

    Periodic renewal pruning keeps your mature plants vigorous. You can cut it back to a few inches from the ground in the late winter.

    Fertilize with an organic formula for acid-lovers in early spring. Follow the application rates on the package.

    Get incredible multicolored foliage on an evergreen that performs beautifully in shade. Order Rainbow Fetterbush today!

  • Buying Options for Plants

    Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

    Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

    Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

    • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
    • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

    Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

    Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

    Young Plants to 18 Months
    Size Volume
    2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
    4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
    Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
    4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
    6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
    1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
    5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
    4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
    4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
    4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
    4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
    Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
    Size Volume
    2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
    #1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
    5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
    Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
    Size Volume
    #2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
    #3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
    Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
    Size Volume
    #5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
    #6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
    #7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

    About Plant Sentry™

    Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

    This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

    Click Here to learn more

    Plant Sentry


    To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

    Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

    *If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
    Color Zone Times
    3 Spring 2019
    4 Now
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    Shipping Rates

    At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

    From To S&H
    0 - 19.99 24.99
    20 - 49.99 29.99
    50 - 69.99 34.99
    70 - 99.99 39.99
    100 - 129.99 44.99
    130 - 149.99 48.99
    150 - 150+ Approx 28%

    Click here to see our full rates


    Rainbow Fetterbush Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-8
    Growing Zones 5-8
    More Information
    Brand Nature Hills' Choice
    Botanical Name Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow'
    Type Evergreen
    Mature Height 3 - 5 feet
    Mature Spread 3 - 6 feet
    Sun Exposure Full Shade, Partial Shade
    Soil Well Drained
    Moisture Medium
    Growth Rate Medium
    Flower Color White
    Foliage Color Bronze, Cream, Pink, Dark Green
    Fall Color Burgundy / Purple
    Pollinator Friendly Yes
    Pruning Time Late Winter
    Fragrant Yes