Oct 052016

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Grevillea rosemarinafolia

Rosemary Grevillea

Clear rose red spidery flowers borne along the branches from late winter all the way through to summer, with occasional bursts of flowers at other times. The dark green rosemary like leaves are spiny and provide good habitat for small animals, birds and insects. Approx 2m tall and wide. Numerous cultivars of this species have been bred, often dwarfed, give a wide variety of smaller sizes and foliage colours.

Water in well when planting, using a weak seaweed solution is beneficial. Do follow up watering (not if raining) for the next 6 weeks to allow for ideal growing conditions. You want the plant to get established and for the roots to grow well. Hot dry windy conditions may require extra watering. Once well established it can survive extended dry periods, but will grow and flower better with the occasional good soak.

Light and Location
Usually prefers full sun, but can take some shade. A minimum of 6 hours full sun is preferable. Pick your site well. An established grevillea will not move well – not at all…

Likes a warm position, but will tolerate frost. Tolerates some humidity.

Use a native fertiliser in Spring and late summer, water in well.

• Regular tip pruning after flowering is ideal, keeping the plant neat and bushy.
• If hedging – do major formative pruning in October.
Mulching is very beneficial for grevilleas. They like the moisture retaining qualities and the additional organic material supplied to the soil as it breaks down. Keep away from the stem of the plant to avoid any chance of collar rot.

Pests and Diseases
• Generally pest and disease free
• Can suffer root rot in heavy clay soils. Ideally plant on a slope so drainage is OK or use raised beds. If your grevillea suddenly looks sick, rapidly loses leaves and dies – it is probably root rot, and there is no coming back from it.
• Grevilleas attract a lot of birds. Some sip the nectar and others feast on the nectar feeding insects, and at the same time clean up other damaging insects.