Trees & Shrubs

jan18-tree and shrub main

Bougainvillea Taming

Bougainvilleas are spectacular flowering scrambling climbers and shrubs that create vibrant tropical colour in all but the coldest gardens. A bougainvillea smothered in flowers is truly stunning.

Bougainvilleas can be extremely vigorous and older varieties have significant thorns along their stems. The temptation is to prune bougainvilleas very hard to keep them under control, however this can promote additional rampant growth exacerbating the problem.

To help keep bougainvilleas under control, after the main flowering flush has finished, give them a light prune to remove the spent flowers.

It is better to trim off small amounts of growth regularly rather than giving them a close shave (unless absolutely necessary). The exception to this is water shoots, which are long soft stems that should be pruned off at the base when they appear.


Leptospermums, commonly known as ‘teatrees’ are a group of plants native to Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Clever plant breeders have been working with teatrees to enhance the range of flower colours and improve their performance in home gardens.

‘Mesmer Eyes’ is a striking variety of leptospermum that has large flowers which open white and change to pink as they age. The flowers have striking dark centres and stamens that resemble eye lashes, hence the name ‘Mesmer Eyes’, and will attract nectar feeding birds and insects into the garden.

This variety grows to around 1.5 m tall and 1 m across and is both drought and frost hardy once established.

To help keep ‘Mesmer Eyes’ tidy and compact, trim back well after the spring flowering flush and feed with Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Organic Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser, which is an ideal gentle organic plant food for Australian native plants like leptospermums.


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