Growing Banksias

Having written about the frost hardiness of Banksias, I thought I would look at the general growing conditions.

There is a number of species which do very well in the alkaline soils locally and once established, manage on the local rainfall of 334mm a year, falling mostly during the winter.

The first requirement is good drainage. This can be achieved by raising the planting area by  as little as 10cm, more would be safer, if this is a problem. An issue for me is that some parts of the block have little top soil and a planting hole can become a sump 9or like a plasti c pot without drainage holes) when there is clay underneath. I try to break through this and use gypsum in the hope that the overall drainage is improved. Otherwise the raised bed has to be used.

For frost sensitive species it pays to plant during spring to gain the growth and hardiness required before the first frosts in the following autumn.

Like all new plantings, the root ball of the plant needs to be kept moist until the roots have moved out into the surrounding soil. Always make sure that the drippers, if using them, flow onto the root ball. I have had most losses because of this failure.


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