native birds and wildlife is what you want in your garden
then Grevilleas are for you. These natives of Australia all
contain nectar (except for one or two) and are simply irresistible
to our native feathered friends. Commonly known as the spider
flower the Grevillea genus consists of over 250 species with
new hybrids being developed yearly.
With so many varieties it is not surprising that they are
very diverse in their growth habits, flower styles (which
come in every colour of the rainbow), and foliage. Ranging
from sprawling ground covers to large rainforest trees, most
are easily grown in our Queensland climate.
Here are few "tried & true"
varieties that have been grown successfully by the home gardener
Grevillea "Poorind Royal Mantle"
Grevillea "Bronze Rambler"
Grevillea Biternata (Syn. Curviloba)
Grevillea Lanigera "Mt Tamboritha Form"
Grevillea Banksii "Prostrate Red Form"
Grevillea "Robyn Gordon"
Grevillea "Ned Kelly"
Grevillea "Scarlet Sprite"
Grevillea "Miss Muffet"
Grevillea "Honey Gem"
Grevillea "Robusta" (10 metres)
Grevillea "Hilliana" (15 metres)
Grevillea "Bailyana" (8 metres)
are the largest genus in the proteaeae family which makes
them close cousins of the South African Proteas, Australian
Hakeas & the ivory curl flower (Buckinghamia). There is
only a handful that are not native to Australia, with some
coming from our neighbours Papua New Guinea & New Caledonia.
Grevilleas are very easy to grow and are ideal in a dry "water
wise" garden. Most of them flower from Winter to Spring
but some will give you blooms all year round. All Grevilleas
love full sun and because they don't like wet feet they will
adore a slopping or raised garden bed. Dry conditions and
long periods without rain will not trouble them and a good
water once a week when they are established will be sufficient.
When planting your Grevillea dig a hole and mix in Searles®
Native Plant Mix. This will give them a flying start. Strong
roots develop early so try not to disturb them when planting.
Once they have settled in mulch them to help prevent weeds from growing around them.
Maintenance of your Grevillea is minimal. Fertilising only
needs to be done once every 3 months. Like most natives they
have a dislike for phosphorous so Searles® Native Food is
excellent, as it is specially formulated with a low Phosphorus
As Grevilleas get on in age they can develop old & woody
branch's and lots of dead twigs. To clean them out and to
make them look fresh again, pruning should be carried out
in October. At this time you can cut them back by 1/3 to 1/2,
with a follow up tip prune 2 months later. In doing so, you
will end up with specimen with bushy new growth all over &
an abundance of flowers.
Grevilleas are not normally troubled by any pests because
of the high number of birds they attract that keep insects
under control. Root rot can be a common cause of death to
Grevilleas in wet conditions. Occasionally the plant will
curl up its leaves and simply fall over within a couple of
days. Choosing a free draining slopping garden bed will help
in preventing this from happening to yours.
Propagation of Grevilleas should always be done by cuttings.
Take half ripened tips in summer and strike them in Searles®
Propagating Mixture. Growing Grevilleas from cuttings is preferred
because they are true to type (meaning "what you see
is what you get"). Seed grown plants occasionally throw
back to the parent plant.