Grevilleas are among the most popular and frequently grown native plants because they are adaptable, hardy and bright. They flower for relatively long periods, and are probably the best plants to attract birds to your garden. They belong to the family Proteaceae, named after the Greek sea god ‘Proteus’, who was known for his ability to change form which is representative if the wide variety of leaf and flower shapes.
There are around 100 different species in the grevillea genus, with hundreds of varieties and sub species. Almost all of these are native to Australia. Grevilleas occur all over Australia from the tropics to alpine areas and the dry inland parts. This means that there are species for all soils and aspects. They range in size from ground cover plants such as G. Laurifolia to tall trees such as the popular silky oak, G. Robusta. There is one that will suit every garden.
Grevilleas act are wonderful bird attractors. They are mostly bird pollinated, with their bright flowers attracting birds to the garden. Honeyeaters, parrots and nectar feeding birds can’t resist the succulent flowers and seeds. The species with prickly foliage make excellent nesting sites for insect eating birds and also protect small birds from animals and larger birds.
Choosing grevilleas is a matter of consideration of site, soil, landscaping needs and the availability of plants held by your IGC Garden Centre. There are many hybrid grevilleas available and if you check with your IGC Garden Centre, you will be offered a wide choice accurate guidance.
We recommend you discuss the aspects of you garden with an IGC Garden Centre specialist.
The following list will provide some basic suggestions
Grevilleas for rockeries and where small shrubs may be suitable:
Acanthifolia, Alpina, Aquifolium, Australis, “Austraflora Canterbury Gold”, “Austraflora Old Gold”, Baueri, “Bronze Rambler”, “Carpet Queen”, Confertifolia, Biternata, Diminuta, “Forest Rambler”, x Gaudichaudi’ “jolly swagman”, Juniperina, Juniperina “Molonglo”, Lanigera, Lanigera Mt. Tamboritha, Laurifolia, Lavandulacea, Microstegia, “Pink Lady”, “Poorinda Royal Mantle:”, Renwickiana, Repens, Tenuiloba.
Arenaria, Brachystylis Diffusa “Gold Rush”, Rosmarinifolia (or a modern similar hybrid), “Austraflora Jubilee”, Obtusiflora, pink or scarlet Sprite.
Long flowering Grevilleas
Acanthifolia, Arenaria, “Austraflora Canterbury Gold,”, “Boongala Spinebill”, Caleyi, “Clearview David” ,Endlicherana, Glabrata, Hookeriana, Jephcottii, “Jubilee”, Lavandulacea, Longifolia, Longistyla, “Misty Pink”, “Ned Kelly”, “Pink Lady”, “Poorinda – mostly hybrids”, “Sandra Gordon”, Shiressi, Speciosa, “Wakiti Gem”, Asplenifolia, Banksii, Buxifolia, “Canberra Gem”, “Dargan Hill”, “Honey Gem”, “Ivanhoe”.
Care for Grevilleas
Most grevilleas are easily grown and are tolerant of a wide range of well-drained soils. Some species are difficult, and present a challenge to native plant enthusiasts, which is all part interest and fascination of the genus.
Grevilleas respond well to pruning. Unpruned plants become leggy and do not flower as freely. Prune soon after flowering – in late spring or early summer. Remove about 10 centimetres all over plant for smaller spider flowered grevilleas. If your grevillea is of the more vigorous bush flowered varieties, heavier pruning is recommended.
Care should be taken when fertilising as all members of the Proteaceae family are intolerant of high concentrations of phosphorus. Make sure that what you use is low in phosphorus – such as blood and bone, or Yates Acticote.