Callistemon

FAQ

Got any questions that are not covered in the FAQ below? Then please contact our General Enquiries Secretary email

What sort of plants does the APS cover?

There are more than 25000 species of plants in Australia and New Zealand. Their habitat ranges from the high mountains and dry steppes of the South Island of NZ to the tropics of northern and north-eastern Australia, from the wet temperate forests of Tasmania to the deserts of Central Australia, and from the fertile south and south-eastern states to the nutrient-poor sandy soil of western Australia. This vast area includes plants of every type. Our members have experience of growing a large number of plants from most of these areas.

How do I grow ………?

With such a range of plants, grown over such an extensive area, this is not an easy question to answer. As noted above, the members are happy to relate their experiences – whether successful or not – of plants they have tried to grow. If you have a specific question which can’t be answered by reference to the newsletter, a note to the secretary will usually bring results. It is important to remember that not all the plants like hot, dry, weather. Many grow much better in the cooler and wetter west and north than in the south of the UK. Your local microclimate is more important than the hardiness according to “zones”.

My garden is on chalky soil. What plants can I grow?

It is true to say that most Australasian plants do not like chalk. Many will suffer in the same way as most ericaceous plants. Rather than limit yourself, why not grow the plants in containers? That way you can keep the soil to the liking of the plants, rather than the other way round.

I would like to grow eucalyptus trees. Can you recommend any?

There are a number of species which are quite hardy. Most Eucalyptus are fast growing, and evergreen too. Remember that many will soon outgrow a small space, but can be kept under control by regularly cutting back. As an added bonus, the juvenile foliage is usually more attractive than the adult foliage. The minor disadvantage of hardy Eucalyptus is that they tend to have small white flowers. If you have space in a conservatory or large greenhouse, there are numerous small to medium sized Eucalyptus with large bright flowers (in all shades of red, pink, or yellow). Our seed list has information on the size, growth habit, and typical hardiness of all the species of which we have seed available.

Is my local garden centre likely to have any Australasian plants?

Almost certainly. Many people forget that most Hebe come from New Zealand, and so do the ever-increasing range of Phormium (New Zealand Flax). From Australia you are likely to find Eucalyptus, Callistemon (bottle brush), Leptospermum (Tea trees), and Eucryphia (Leather trees). Many nurseries also stock a range of Pittosporum. Don’t forget the wonderful tree ferns, too, for those shadier, damper, places. If you are looking for conservatory plants, there is an ever increasing range. Most plant labels in nurseries and garden centres are very informative, and you should be able to tell whether or not the plant will be suitable for you.

For growers of Australasian plants and their allies in the UK