This shade loving, low growing, native shrub is a great source of year round pleasure with its sunshine-yellow and green leaves. The flowers are so inconspicuous that they usually go unnoticed, but who cares when the leaves are so appealing, and always there to be enjoyed.
Despite its frost tender nature, Macropiper ‘Golden Heart’ will succeed in moderately frosty areas if it’s grown beneath trees or shrubs with a dense canopy of foliage or tucked under overhanging eaves. Not many shrubs are happy in such situations, but ‘Golden Heart’ thrives in conditions ranging from dappled to deep shade. It’s also surprisingly drought tolerant, which means you can plant it in difficult spots and rest assured that it will prosper and look glamorous without needing to be fussed over.
The easy-care nature of ‘Golden Heart’ means it’s ideal as a container plant for that shaded spot. It also adapts happily to growing indoors in low light situations.
In containers outdoors it can be underplanted with low growing grasses for added interest. The bright yellow, dwarf, Acorus ‘Ogon’ or the popular, black mondo grass, Ophiopogon ‘Black Dragon’, are two which are strikingly good looking and demand little attention.
There are lots of fun ideas for positioning Macropiper ‘Golden Heart’ in the garden. Planted close to a shaded gate or front door it provides a cheery welcoming note. Imagine combining its bold green and gold leaves with a brightly painted gate - it would put a smile on your face every time you headed home.
Under trees, combine Macropiper ‘Golden Heart’ with shade loving Clivias, especially the new hybrids in red, orange and yellow shades, for a bit of razzle dazzle. Even when not in flower these new Clivias are great for their broad, strap-shaped, deep green, glossy foliage. The handsome green foliage of the native Asplenium bulbiferum, hen and chickens fern, another shade lover, provides a lush, tranquil accompaniment to the boldness of ‘Golden Heart’.
Where there’s light shade, have fun growing ‘Golden Heart’ with blue flowered Corydalis species. Just think how good that would look beneath a kowhai tree!