Banksia Information – Learn How To Grow Banksia Plants

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Banksia flowers are native to Australia, where the familiar wildflowers are well appreciated for their beauty, versatility and drought-tolerance. Read on for more information about banksia flowers and banksia plant care.

Banksia Information

Banksia (Banksia spp.) is a stunning plant with unique leaves and stunning flowers that bloom nonstop. This diverse plant family contains a variety of forms that include 6- to 12-foot shrubs and full-size trees that attain heights of 30 to 60 feet.

The tiny blooms, arranged in round, oval or cylindrical clusters, come in a range of colors such as yellowish-green, brown, orange, pale yellow, cream and red. The flowers are highly attractive to birds and beneficial insects.

How to Grow Banksia

Growing banksia is easy as long as you provide well-drained soil, full sunlight and excellent air circulation. If your soil is clay-based, dig in generous amounts of finely chopped bark or compost to improve soil texture. Plant banksia on a low mound of soil to promote drainage, then surround the plant with gravel mulch.

Perfect drainage is critical, as banksia flowers are susceptible to root rot, which is usually deadly. If your soil conditions aren’t right, you can grow banksia flowers in containers. Banksia isn’t a good choice for moist, humid climates, although tolerance varies depending on the cultivar.

Water banksia flowers regularly for the first year or two, then cut back to an occasional deep watering during hot, dry weather.

Banksia Plant Care

Banksia plants are rugged and require little attention. You can fertilize the plant occasionally if you want, but it usually isn’t necessary. If you decide to feed the plant, opt for phosphorus-free products because phosphorus can kill the plant.

Pruning isn’t usually needed, but you can shape the plant or trim it to maintain a desired size. Be careful not to cut old wood.

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