PAISLEY PUP™ Leucothoe

A colorful, eye-catching Ground cover for a shady spot might sound like a tall order, but Paisley Pup leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana) has it covered – with style! Also known as doghobble, drooping laurel, and fetterbush, this North American native shrub grows as a slowly spreading mound, perfect for transforming difficult spots into a lush, colorful canvas that needs virtually no maintenance. All season long, the new growth emerges in shades of pink, white, green, and yellow for an ever-changing, swirling display that really lights up shady spots. In late spring and early summer, elegant chains of fragrant, bell-shaped, white flowers dangle from the arching stems for even more beauty and interest. Did we mention Paisley Pup leucothoe is also exceptionally deer resistant, too?

Why grow Paisley Pup leucothoe:
– Super colorful foliage – not your typical variegation!

– Native to North America

– Shade tolerant and easy to grow in any well-drained, acidic soil




Light: Part sun or filtered light all day.

Soil: Needs moist yet well-drained acidic soil that’s high in organic matter. Grows well in any soil where rhododendron or azalea are thriving.

Water: Average water needs.

Fertilizing: One application of a granular fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs is sufficient. If your plant is yellowing or otherwise looking sickly, this more likely indicates an issue in the soil pH. While applying fertilizer and/or iron will remedy the issue, the fix is only temporary and you should instead devote your efforts to changing the soil pH for a more sustainable, long-term solution.

Pruning: Little needed; entire stems/branches can be removed as needed. Do not habitually trim or cut back.

Botanical Name

Leucothoe fontanesiana 'SMNLFGRV'


5, 6, 7, 8

Flower Color


Foliage Color

Green, white, pink, yellow, variegated






Part sun


Moist, Well-draining, acidic

Season of Interest

Fall, Spring, Summer


Borders, Edging, Ground Cover, Mass Planting, Woodland gardens


Attracts pollinators, Deer resistant, Foliage interest, Fragrant, Native, Evergreen

Blooms on

Old wood


Megan Mathey

Plant Type:  Tag: 

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Gardening Simplified magazine
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