Grevillea (Grevillea species)
Grevilleas are popular garden plants due to their showy blooms, long flowering and ability to attract nectar-feeding birds and other wildlife. Those with dense, prickly foliage provide perfect habitat for small birds. Flowering peaks in winter and spring, but continuous blooming is possible. Colours include red, crimson, pink, peach, orange, mauve, white, yellow and bicolour blooms. Grevillea, banksia, hakea and acacia make good companions as they are all intolerant of excess phosphorous, prefer sunny positions and generally demand good drainage.
There are over 450 species and subspecies, plus in excess of 140 registered cultivars to choose from. Check with staff at your local hardware or garden centre to find a grevillea that will thrive in your region.
- Pots, groundcovers and smaller gardens ‘Scarlet Sprite’, Royal Mantle, Grevillea lanigera Mt. Tamboritha.
- Shrubs and taller growers Robyn Gordon, Dorothy Gordon, Ned Kelly, Peaches and Cream, Ivanhoe, Loopy Lou, Molonglo, Misty Pink, Moonlight, Honey Gem, Superb and Grevillea banksia.
- Trees Grevillea robusta, Grevillea baileyana, Grevillea pteridifolia.
Climate Breeding has resulted in varieties widely adapted to a range of climates. Ask staff at your local hardware or garden centre to recommend varieties if frost or summer rainfall and high humidity occur in your region. Ideally these beauties are sun lovers, so plant in full sun and keep sheltered from strong winds.
Aspect Full sun is preferred, but spiky, small-leafed selections (often G. rosmarinifolia and G. juniperina cultivars) tolerate light shade. Move potted plants during the year to ensure maximum sunshine. Good air circulation is essential. Plants with hairy or felt-like foliage are more susceptible to leaf disease. Stake young plants and shrubs in windy positions to prevent them blowing over.
Soil Grevillea generally demand perfect drainage. Mounding the soil to improve drainage is generally not a viable, long-term option on clay sub-soil (plant bottlebrush as an alternative). Where drainage is poor, grow in pots using a premium potting mix suitable for phosphorus-sensitive plants. Grafted plants have more robust root systems, extending successful cultivation across a wider range of climates and soil types. Grevilleas are sensitive to phosphorous found in poultry manure, mushroom compost and standard fertilizers and potting mix.