Expert Tips

Banksia Bounty

Banksia are a favourite native for many – and it’s no wonder. From their striking flowers in a host of hues and dramatic foliage to their bird and bee attracting qualities, these architectural marvels make a statement in all styles of gardens. Here’s our picks of different varieties to try in your outdoor space large or small…

Perfect in pots

Banksia spinulosa ‘Dwarf Red’ low growing habit means it’s a great choice for tubs, pots and rockeries. This variety boasts large golden flowers with red highlights that put on a show from autumn right through winter, with birds and bees also loving this attractive banksia. Be sure to plant it in well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

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Show stopping flowers

It may be hard to get Banksia prionotes – ‘Acorn Banksia’ established in the garden, but this impressive banksia will reward you with bright, arresting flowers. Consider it for a large container, otherwise it can grow to a tall shrub or small tree in your garden but must have extremely well drained soil and full sun to thrive. Humid summers are not their friends, so best suited to temperate and coastal conditions. The flowers are stunning in vases and this variety is used commercially for cut flower production.

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A statement shrub

For a fast growing and hardy variety, seek out Banksia robur – ‘Swamp Banksia’.  This large shrub is a dramatic looking banksia to add as a statement plant or consider for an interesting hedging option. Adaptable to a wide range of conditions and soils, it prefers full sun for best flowering, but can handle part shade. Blue green flowers turn yellow-green and as then as the flower continues to age heads turn interesting brown and grey shades. Large serrated leaves with velvety coating of brown hairs add another attractive feature. 

Go to ground

Seek out Banksia blechnifolia – Groundcover banksia for a striking ground cover in a sunny spot. Come Spring and Summer, this variety will reward you with dramatic dark, velvety flower heads that warm up to a chestnut hue and when not in flower the serrated green foliage provides interesting texture and architecture in the garden. Try it in pots for a dramatic statement.

Super screening

Massive, long lasting flower spikes are the stand out feature of this cultivar, with dramatic orange flowers up to 40cm long in winter to spring. Banksia ericifolia x spinulosa ‘Giant Candles’ is an adaptable large shrub that can be planted as a screen, hedge or feature plant, and of course for its cut flowers. It can grow up to 5 metres if left unpruned. Find a sunny, well drained position and watch it flourish.

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