What Is Adenanthos – How To Grow An Adenanthos Bush

Many dense branches of Adenanthos wooly bush growing upwards
(Image credit: Lenny Kaiser)

Adenanthos sericeus is called woolly bush, an appropriately named shrub for its fine needles that cover it like a soft, woolly coat. Native to Australia, this bush is a pretty addition to many gardens and is hardy down to 25 degrees F. (-4 C.). With some basic adenanthos information and the right climate conditions, you can grow this easy and attractive shrub.

What is Adenanthos?

Adenanthos is an evergreen shrub native to the southern coastal region of western Australia. Since it naturally grows along the coast, it is tolerant of wind and salt, making it a great choice for coastal gardens in the U.S. and other areas.

When growing adenanthos plants, expect their growth to top about 6 to 10 feet (2-3 m.) tall and about 6 feet (2 m.) wide. The evergreen needles are grayish green and so fine that the shrub is soft to the touch. It produces small red flowers periodically throughout the year that attract bees. In Australia, adenanthos is a popular choice for Christmas trees.

How to Grow an Adenanthos Bush

Adenanthos bush care is pretty easy once you get a plant established. It tolerates rough conditions of coastal regions but does not have to grow on the coast. Hardy to just below freezing, adenanthos is a good choice for a range of growing zones. It does, however, prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

As long as you have the right spot for it and your soil drains well, you won’t have to water your adenanthos often. Water regularly until your new bush is established, then let it thrive on rainwater alone unless there are drought conditions.

It also helps to use fertilizer when you first plant the bush, and up to once per year, but it isn’t necessary.

Pruning is also optional for adenanthos, but it takes well to shaping. You can hedge or shape it any way you like.

Once settled in the right spot, adenanthos is easy to grow and maintain, and you’ll enjoy the unique softness of this unusual evergreen for many years.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.