Growing Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

This native American evergreen creeper produces bright red berries with a wintergreen flavor that remain on the plant from July to the next April.

LIGHT: To keep Wintergreen happy indoors, give it bright light but little direct sun. It can tolerate only 1-2 hours of direct sun early or late in the day.

TEMPERATURE: Wintergreen prefers cool temperatures of about 60-70°F.

WATERING: Keep the soil fairly moist, watering when the top 1/2 inch of potting mix is dry to the touch.

FERTILIZING: Fertilizing is seldom necessary.

CONTINUING CARE: Wintergreen should be planted outdoors in early spring in Zones 3-8. Give it a shady but bright spot with well-drained soil rich in organic matter, with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Prune it back to old wood in spring to encourage new green growth. Over time, a single plant can spread to 3-3 1/2ft in width. The dark green leaves turn red or reddish purple in winter.

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