Magpie Stachyurus Stachyurus 'Magpie' (v)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
stachyurus 'Magpie'


Stachyurus 'Magpie' is a visually striking shrub known for its variegated foliage and decorative chain-like flowers. The leaves of Stachyurus 'Magpie' are its most intriguing feature, presenting a bold contrast of colors. Each leaf typically has a dark green center surrounded by a creamy white or yellowish border, giving the foliage a marbled or speckled appearance. This splash of white against the green makes the shrub stand out, especially in shaded garden areas. Beyond the attractive leaves, Stachyurus 'Magpie' produces pendulous racemes of small, bell-shaped flowers that dangle gracefully from the branches. These flowers emerge in early to mid-spring and are usually a soft yellow, adding a touch of brightness to the plant's already striking appearance. After the flowering period, the shrub may produce small, inconspicuous fruit, though these are less notable than the blooms and foliage. As the seasons change, so does the look of Stachyurus 'Magpie'. In autumn, the variegated leaves might develop warmer tones before eventually falling off, as this shrub is deciduous. Throughout the year, the plant maintains an elegant structure with its branching habit, creating a pleasing silhouette even when the branches are bare. Despite being known more for its leaves and flowers, the bark and stems can also contribute to the plant's overall aesthetics, sometimes showing hints of color or texture that add further interest.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Variegated Spiketail, Magpie Stachyurus

    • Common names

      Stachyurus praecox 'Magpie'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Spiketail 'Magpie' is not commonly known to be toxic to humans. However, as with many ornamental plants, it is generally not recommended to ingest any part of the plant. If accidental ingestion occurs, it is wise to monitor for any signs of an adverse reaction and seek medical advice if any symptoms arise.

    • To pets

      Spiketail 'Magpie' is also not widely recognized as a toxic plant to pets. Nonetheless, it is always prudent to prevent pets from ingesting plants. If a pet does consume any part of the spiketail, monitoring for symptoms of gastrointestinal upset or other changes in behavior is recommended, and consulting a veterinarian if any concerning symptoms appear is advised.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental appeal: Stachyurus 'Magpie' offers aesthetically pleasing variegated foliage and pendulous racemes of yellow flowers that are attractive in landscape design.
    • Seasonal interest: This plant provides visual interest throughout multiple seasons with its spring blooms and striking leaf patterns.
    • Wildlife attraction: The flowers can attract pollinators such as bees, adding to the biodiversity of the garden.
    • Low maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care besides occasional pruning and watering, making it suitable for gardeners of all levels.
    • Drought tolerance: Stachyurus 'Magpie' is relatively resistant to short periods of drought, which can be beneficial in drier climates or for water-conserving landscapes.
    • Architectural structure: Its upright form and tiered branches add structural interest to garden beds and borders, even when not in bloom.
    • Adaptable to many soil types: This plant can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, though it prefers well-drained soils.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Subjects: Due to its striking variegated leaves, Stachyurus 'Magpie' can be a popular subject for botanical photographers and artists aiming to capture the beauty of variegated foliage.
    • Barrier Plantings: With its dense growth habit, Stachyurus 'Magpie' can be used to create natural barriers or privacy screens in gardens and landscapes.
    • Winter Interest: Stachyurus 'Magpie' can add interest to winter gardens with its persistent berries and distinctive leaf pattern when many other plants have lost their leaves.
    • Educational Tool: Botany students can study Stachyurus 'Magpie' to learn about variegation patterns in leaves and the genetic or environmental factors that cause them.
    • Theme Gardens: It can be an excellent addition to variegated-themed gardens that focus on plants with unique foliage patterns.
    • Habitat Creation: Though not native, the dense foliage provides shelter for birds and insects in a garden setting.
    • Erosion Control: Stachyurus 'Magpie' can be used on slopes for erosion control due to its root system that helps hold soil in place.
    • Seasonal Displays: Its striking appearance during different seasons makes it ideal for seasonal display gardens that focus on the visual changes throughout the year.
    • Floral Arrangements: Branches of Stachyurus 'Magpie' with leaves and flower racemes can be used in large, ornamental floral arrangements.
    • Bonsai Specimen: Some gardening enthusiasts may use Stachyurus 'Magpie' for bonsai due to its interesting structure and leaf variegation.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Spiketail is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Spiketail is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Rarity: The Stachyurus 'Magpie' is a relatively rare plant, symbolizing uniqueness and the value of rarity.
    • Adaptation: As a plant that shows resilience in various growing conditions, it can represent the ability to adapt and thrive in different environments.
    • Contrast and Balance: The variegated leaves of this plant, often with distinct white and green patterns, symbolize the concept of balance and the beauty of contrasting elements coexisting harmoniously.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For the Spike Tail, water thoroughly when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. On average, this might be about once a week, but frequency can vary depending on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Ensure that the plant receives a deep watering, allowing water to reach the root zone. Depending on the size of the plant and pot, watering with approximately 16 to 32 ounces of water should suffice, adjusting as necessary to ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During winter months, reduce watering as the plant's growth slows down.

  • sunLight

    The Spike Tail prefers to be positioned in a spot with dappled sunlight or partial shade. Direct, harsh sunlight can damage the leaves, whereas too little light can stunt growth, so find a balanced environment. A north-facing window or a shaded east- or west-facing window is an ideal spot, providing the moderate light this plant thrives in.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spike Tail grows best within a temperature range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, avoiding extreme cold or heat. It is important to protect the plant from temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as it can suffer damage from frost. Strive to maintain a consistent temperature within the ideal range for optimal growth and health of the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Spike Tail to maintain its shape and size and to remove any dead or damaged growth. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning can be done annually or biennially, depending on the plant's growth rate and your desired appearance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Variegated Spiketail prefers a well-drained, humus-rich soil mix with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of around 5.5 to 7. Amend the soil with organic matter to improve fertility and drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Variegated Spiketails do not require frequent repotting and should be repotted every 2-3 years or when the root system outgrows the current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Variegated Spiketail thrives in moderate to high humidity levels but is adaptable to average household humidity when grown indoors.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light and moderate humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Partial shade, sheltered location, protect from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Stachyurus 'Magpie' (variegated Stachyurus) begins its life as a seed, which when sown, germinates in favorable conditions of moisture and temperature, developing a root system and a shoot that emerges above the soil. As a young plant, it establishes a stronger root system and foliage, with variegated leaves that make it highly ornamental. The plant enters a growth stage, maturing over several years and forming a woody structure as it develops into a shrub. During each spring, the variegated Stachyurus produces pendant racemes of small, bell-shaped flowers, followed by the development of its seeds, which complete the reproductive cycle. Seasonal changes lead to periods of dormancy, particularly in colder climates, where it may lose leaves and enter a rest period in winter. Throughout its life, the variegated Stachyurus undergoes recurring cycles of growth, flowering, seed production, and dormancy, reflecting seasonal changes and its adaptation to the environment.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagation for Stachyurus 'Magpie', commonly known as Spiketail, is semi-hardwood cuttings. This technique is typically performed in late summer when the current season's growth has matured enough to be firm but still retains some flexibility. Cuttings should be taken from healthy branches, making sure each cutting is about 4 to 6 inches long with several leaves. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The prepared cuttings are then inserted into a well-draining potting mix. It's crucial to maintain a humid environment for the cuttings, often achieved by covering the container with a plastic bag or placing it in a propagator. Roots generally develop within a few weeks to a couple of months, at which point the new plants can gradually acclimate to less humid conditions.