Note: Images are for reference purposes only. Actual Plants may vary in shape, color or size based on climate, age, height, etc. The product is replaceable but not returnable.
This is an evergreen shrub with arching branches. I have seen plants three or four feet tall but it is reported to be able to grow to six feet tall. Typical plants have opposite, shiny green leaves with burgundy undersides. A variegated form is more common in the nursery trade. Inconspicuous white flowers are borne in the leaf axils. It grows best in part shade with moderate water. Most references say it is cold hardy to zone 10 but I have seen several reports of plants surviving temperatures as low as 30 degrees and recently saw a plant growing outdoors in Mercer Arboretum north of Houston, Texas. Reportedly, the sap is irrigating to some people.
Prepare the garden by breaking up the existing soil (use a hoe, spade, or power tiller). Add organic matter such as manure, peat moss or garden compost until the soil is loose and easy to work. Organic ingredients improve drainage, add nutrients and encourage earthworms and other organisms that help keep soil healthy. Give plants an extra boost by adding a granulated starter fertilizer or a balanced all-purpose feed (for example fertilizers labeled 12-12-12).
New plantings should be watered daily for a couple of weeks. After that, depending on the weather and soil type, watering can be adjusted to every two or three days. Clay soils hold moisture longer than sandy soils, so expect to water more frequently in sandy settings.
Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed to encourage blooming (such as 5-10-5).