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The Waratah (Telopea speciosissima) is an attractive and stately shrub that has spectacular cones of vivid, usually red flowers that appear in late spring. It is the floral emblem of New South Wales and is regularly seen in artwork and floral displays. Not only does it provide a lovely feature to any garden, it also attracts bees and nectar feeding birds when in flower.


How to grow waratah in a garden

  1. Choose a place in the garden that gets full sun to half shade and is protected from the afternoon sun. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball.
  3. Carefully remove the plant from the pot ensuring not to disturb any of the roots. 
  4. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised ring around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most.
  5. Lightly mulch around the base with organic mulch, keeping it away from the trunk.
  6. Feed occasionally with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser to ensure strong root development.
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How to grow waratah in a pot

  1. Choose a pot that is at least twice the size of the selected plant. Position in the garden that receives full sun to half shade and is protected from the afternoon 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 ensuring not to disturb any of the roots.
  4. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well.
  5. Lightly mulch around the base with organic mulch, keeping it away from the trunk.
  6. Feed occasionally with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser to ensure strong root development.

Growing tips

  • Some hybrids, such as ‘Shady Lady’, are suitable to grow in the cooler regions of Australia.
  • Prune back plants after flowering to promote new growth and shoots for the following year.
  • These plants dislike having wet feet. Ensure that the soil is well drained and that they are not sitting in a moist soil for long periods.
  • There are many different varieties of Waratahs that are available, colours include white, pink and even yellow. 

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