Plant Life Balance

Short and sweet: Meet the dwarf Banksia

They say good things come in small packages, and that couldn’t be truer for this gorgeous Aussie flowering native.

If you’re working with limited outdoor space, a stunning dwarf Banksia could be just the native for you!

With the unmistakeable flowers of a full sized Banksia but in a compact, manageable size, these smaller Banksias is the perfect low-growing variety for a patio or courtyard. As an added bonus, this plant has the unusual feature of flowering through winter – just when most gardens could do with a bright splash of colour.

WHERE

There are over 170 known species of Banksia found around the country, with one outlier found in Papua New Guinea. Banksias are generally found growing in the sandy soils of Australia’s coastal regions.

Over time, dwarf varieties have grown popular and specifically cultivated to suit smaller outdoor spaces. They’re happiest in full sun to light shade, and once they get going, they’re pretty tolerant to drought and frosts.

CARE

The main thing to be aware of with low-growing Banksia is that they need to be planted in well-draining sandy soil to avoid root rot. And as with all Banksias, be aware that they’re sensitive to phosphorus, so be sure to use a fertiliser suited to Aussie natives.

Being a compact plant, dward varieties are well suited to being planted in pots. If you have a bit more room and a garden, they’re also great as a ground cover plant or rockery filler.

Remove the dead flower heads in spring.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

Don’t worry if your Banksia is a bit of a slow grower to start with! Stick with it, and it will definitely be worth it for the gorgeous flowers you’ll have blooming through the winter months. Those flowers are particularly attractive for pollinators and birds, so you’ll also be giving the local ecosystem a boost by having them in the garden.

Dwarf forms of Banksia spinulosa come in a range of varieties with delightful names like ‘Birthday Candles’, ‘Honey Pots’, ‘Cherry Candles’, ‘Coastal Cushions’ and ‘Stumpy Gold’.

Ready to try a dwarf Banksia in your garden? Get in touch with your local Plant Life Balance accredited nursery and have a chat with the experts.

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