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Gold Dust Plant Care: Essential Care Tips for Gold Dust Plants

Are you looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance plant to add to your home or garden? Look no further than the Gold Dust Plant!

This stunning plant, also known as Aucuba japonica, is a popular choice for its gorgeous green and yellow variegated leaves and easy care requirements.

Whether you're an experienced plant parent or just starting out, this article will provide you with all the information you need to successfully care for your Gold Dust Plant.

All About Gold Dust Plant

The Gold Dust Plant is a member of the Garryaceae family and is native to eastern Asia, including Japan, Korea, and China.

It is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that can reach up to 10 feet tall in its natural habitat, although it typically grows to around 3-6 feet when grown indoors or in a garden. The plant is prized for its glossy, dark green leaves that are splashed with bright yellow spots, which resemble gold dust.

It produces small clusters of reddish-purple flowers in the spring, followed by bright red berries in the fall that are loved by birds.

When To Plant Gold Dust Plant

Gold Dust Plants can be planted at any time of the year, although it is best to do so in the spring or fall when temperatures are mild.

If planting outdoors, choose a location that receives partial shade to full shade, as the plant prefers to grow in cool, shady areas. In hotter climates, the plant may benefit from some afternoon shade to protect it from the harsh sun.

If planting in a container, be sure to choose a pot that is slightly larger than the plant's root ball, with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating in the soil.

Gold Dust Plant Care

Light & Temperature

gold dust plant care

Gold Dust Plants, also known as Aucuba japonica, prefer cool and shady growing conditions. These plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 60-75°F and can tolerate temperatures as low as 50°F. However, exposure to freezing temperatures can cause damage to the leaves and overall plant health.

If you are growing your Gold Dust Plant indoors, it is best to place it near a bright window that receives indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it's important to avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight. In areas with hot summers, it's also best to provide some shade for the plant to prevent it from drying out.

Gold Dust Plants can be grown in containers or in the ground. When planted in the ground, they prefer well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. Regular watering is important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Mulching around the base of the plant can help to retain moisture in the soil and also prevent weeds from growing.

Overall, providing Gold Dust Plants with cool and shady growing conditions, appropriate watering, and protection from direct sunlight will help them to thrive and produce their distinctive gold-speckled leaves.

RELATED: Top 5 Best Grow Lights For Indoor Plants

Water & Humidity

gold dust plant care

Gold Dust Plants prefer soil that is consistently moist but well-draining, meaning it allows excess water to escape easily. These plants are sensitive to both overwatering and underwatering, which can cause leaf drop and other issues.

To water a Gold Dust Plant, wait until the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch before giving it a good soak. It's important to allow excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot to prevent waterlogging and root rot. It's also best to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can cause spotting and discoloration.

Gold Dust Plants prefer a moderate to high humidity level, which can be challenging to achieve indoors. To increase humidity around the plant, you can regularly mist the leaves with water or use a humidifier in the room. This will help to prevent leaf browning and ensure that the plant remains healthy and vibrant.

If you are growing your Gold Dust Plant in a container, make sure it has good drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot. When planting in the ground, make sure the soil is well-draining and has plenty of organic matter to retain moisture.

RELATED: Top 10 Watering Cans to Keep Your Garden Thriving


gold dust plant care

Gold Dust Plants, also known as Aucuba, prefer to grow in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.0-6.5. This type of soil is essential for the plant's proper growth, as it allows it to absorb nutrients effectively. In addition, Gold Dust Plants prefer soil that is well-draining and rich in organic matter such as peat moss or compost.

If you plan to plant Gold Dust Plants in a container, it's important to choose a potting mix that is specifically formulated for acid-loving plants. These mixes are designed to provide the right pH balance and nutrients to help the plant thrive. Avoid using heavy, clay soils, as they can hold too much water and lead to root rot. When planting, ensure that the container has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

RELATED: Dirt Matters: A Guide to Choosing the Right Soil for Your Plants


gold dust plant care

Gold Dust Plants don't need a lot of fertilizer to thrive, but they still require some nutrients to grow healthy and strong. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer is a good choice for these plants. A fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 formula, can be used.

It is recommended to apply the fertilizer every two to three months during the growing season. Over-fertilization can harm the plant and lead to burned roots and foliage, so be careful to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the fertilizer package. Applying too much fertilizer can also lead to the plant being more susceptible to pests and diseases, so it is better to use less fertilizer than too much.

RELATED: 10 Organic Fertilizers for Optimal Plant Health


Gold Dust Plants prefer to be slightly root-bound, meaning they like their roots to be a bit cramped in their container. This allows them to focus their energy on growing upward instead of outward. However, if the plant becomes too large for its container or the soil is old and depleted, it may be time to repot.

When repotting a Gold Dust Plant, it's best to do so in the spring when the plant is actively growing. Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one, as a pot that is too large can hold too much moisture and cause root rot.

Use fresh, well-draining soil, such as a mix of peat moss, perlite, and compost. Be sure to gently loosen the plant's roots before placing it in the new soil to encourage healthy growth. After repotting, water the plant thoroughly and place it in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight to help it adjust to its new container.


Gold Dust Plants can be propagated through stem cuttings taken in the spring or early summer. Take a 4-6 inch stem cutting and remove the leaves from the bottom half. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant it in a pot filled with a well-draining soil mix.

Keep the soil moist and the cutting in bright, indirect light until it develops roots and new growth. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the conditions.


gold dust plant care

Gold Dust Plants do not require extensive pruning, but they may benefit from occasional shaping and removal of dead or damaged growth.

Pruning should be done in the spring, before new growth begins. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts just above a leaf node or bud. Be sure to wear gloves, as the plant's sap can be irritating to some people.

RELATED: 10 Pruning Sheers that will Give your Garden a Professional Touch

Troubleshooting Gold Dust Plant Problems

Growing Problems

If your Gold Dust Plant is not growing well, it may be due to a lack of light or nutrients. Move the plant to a brighter location or fertilize it with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer.

Overwatering can also cause the plant to struggle, so be sure to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.


Gold Dust Plants are relatively pest-resistant, but they can be susceptible to spider mites and scale insects.

If you notice small, web-like structures on the leaves or a sticky residue on the plant, it may indicate a pest infestation. Treat the plant with an insecticidal soap or neem oil spray, following the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

RELATED: 9 Organic Pest Control Methods For a Healthy Garden


Gold Dust Plants can be susceptible to leaf spot, which causes brown or black spots on the leaves. This is usually caused by overwatering or poor air circulation.

To prevent leaf spot, be sure to allow the soil to dry out between waterings and provide good air circulation around the plant. If leaf spot occurs, remove the affected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide spray.