Coprosma or mirror plant, is a tough and resilient plant, many of which are endemic to New Zealand. It has a glossy sheen to its foliage, adding to its popularity and toughness. An old-fashioned favourite, it has undergone many transformations and many hybrids and new cultivars are now available to the home gardener. They are suitable for many gardens, anywhere where permanent colour is desired without the need for flowers. Ideal for small scale topiary, they are remarkably tough and versatile in the garden and can be used for hedges, borders and rockeries. Well suited to dry coastal areas, to inland areas where light frosts prevail.

How to grow coprosma in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny position with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. If the soil is heavy or clay based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down
  4. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks, while the new plant establishes.
  5. Mulch around the base with organic mulch, like bark chips, woodchip or pea straw, keeping it away from the base of the plant.
  6. Water deeply, once or twice a week during establishing. Very little watering needed once established.
  7. Feed during the growing season with Yates Thrive All Purpose Granular Plant Food. TIP: For an added boost, apply Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate.

How to grow coprosma in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 200 mm wide and deep. Position in full sun to light shade. Colour will be more intense and growth more compact in a brighter position. Colour can also intensify with the onset of cooler weather.
  2. Fill chosen pot with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  4. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  5. Feed regularly from spring to autumn with Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food. TIP: For an added boost, apply Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate.

Growing tips

  • Prune in spring to help new growth.

  • Regular pruning during active growing season to control the rapid growth during warmer months.

  • Grows well in a Mediterranean-style climate and will perform well with plants like lavender, daisy and limonium. Coprosma is grown for its colourful foliage rather that flowers, so expect a shiny and rewarding display all year! Also suitable as a mass planting in beds.

More Plants

Beech Trees

Beech trees grow into large, handsome specimens. If you live on a large estate, it is worthwhile growing a couple of them.

Japanese Box

Japanese Box (Buxus microphylla var. japonica) is a dense evergreen shrub with bright-green glossy leaves. Ideal for topiary and hedges.


Abies (Fir Trees) are coniferous shrubs and trees with needle-like leaves and beautiful cones. Ideal as a feature plant in the garden or in pots.


Chamaecyparis, also known as False Cypress, are lovely versatile ornamental conifers that are often used for garden landscape designs.

Recommended products

Yates Premium Potting Mix

A premium potting mix, ideal for all potted plants and shrubs, including ornamentals, fruit trees, vegies and herbs.