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Striking and attractive Australian native plants with tough, often serrated leaves and large erect cones of stiff, wiry flowers in shades of greenish-white, yellow and orange through to red. Banksias range from ground covers, low growing shrubs to small trees and are great plants to attract bees and nectar feeding birds to the garden.

How to grow banksia in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is heavy clay based or poorly drained, add gypsum and fork in well to improve drainage and consider planting into a raised mound of well drained soil.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised ring of soil around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most. Water in well. 
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch such as sugarcane, pea straw or woodchips keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water regularly, once or twice a week, until established and then water as required.
  6. Feed banksias each spring and autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. It’s suitable for feeding Australian native plants and will provide slow release organic nutrients to promote healthy leaf growth, strong root development and lots of flowers.
     
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How to grow banksia in a pot

  1. Choose a compact banksia like ‘Honey Pot’ or ‘Birthday Candles’. Place the pot in a position that receives full sun.
  2. Fill the pot with a quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
  3. Carefully remove the plant from the pot disturbing the roots as little as possible.
  4. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
  5. Mulch with woodchips and water in well then water as required.
  6. Feed banksias each spring and autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. It’s suitable for feeding Australian native plants and will provide slow release organic nutrients to promote healthy leaf growth, strong root development and lots of flowers.

Growing tips

  • There are 173 Banksia species. Banksias were named after Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820 ), who, in 1770, was the first European to collect specimens of these plants.
  • There are many varieties which include:
    Scarlet banksia
    Hairpin honeysuckle
    Heath banksia
    Coast banksia
    Swamp banksia
    Giant candles
    Birthday candles
  • Many banksias produce interesting and ornamental seed heads. May Gibbs called them the “big bad” banksia men in her Snugglepot and Cuddlepie stories.
  • Larger plants can easily be kept to size by regular pruning.
  • To help keep banksias tidy and compact, prune off the spent flower heads each year. Limit severe pruning into older stems as this can reduce next year’s flowers.
  • If planting in the garden, ensure that you keep the larger plant varieties at least 4 metres away from sewerage or water lines.

Project guides & articles

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They are a great choice for understory plantings that have a spicy fragrance and attractive, delicate flowers that are mostly pink, but some brown and yellow.

Banksia

Banksias are a great choice for understory plantings with a spicy fragrance & attractive, delicate flowers that are mostly pink.

Birds Nest Fern

The Birds Nest Fern (Asplenium australasicum) is a stunning feature plant that is regularly seen in the shaded Australian garden

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