Grevillea in the USA
I was looking at blogs to do with gardening last night and came across a site called the Golden Gecko written in California (the name attracted me). That’s not too amazing in itself. What hit me in the face were the photos of Grevillea ‘Molongolo’ and Grevillea lavandulacea ‘Penola’.
These were being recommended as suitable plants for the impoverished soils in the area. And they would be good for that purpose. They also do well here (country South Australia).
“Molongolo” is a registered cultivar, a hybrid between a dwarf, yellow form of Grevillea juniperina from New South Wales and an upright, red-flowered form of G juniperina from near Canberra, ACT. It can grow up to 5m across in ideal conditions (I’d like to see that here!), with apricot coloured flowers. It needs to be tip pruned from an early age to encourage the denseness of a good ground covering plant. It also responds well to pruning.
As with most plants, pruning is best done after flowering but this plant has a long flowering period. In general I would say that when there are signs of new growth is a safe time to prune most evergreen plants. As a rule don’t prune back to bare wood, but look for small branches or shoots to cut back to (unless you know for sure that the plant will shoot from bare wood).
Grevillea lavandulacea ‘Penola’ has been in cultivation for many years. It has greyish foliage with a massed display of red and cream flowers which look wonderful against the grey foliage. Apparently there is a question about whether it is actually a true form of G lavandulacea as it is very close to Grevillea ‘Poorinda Illumina’. We’ll let the botanists fight about that! The town of Penola is in the south east of South Australia.