A hardy Banksia that is laborious to cease

Coastal Banksia… its shallow roots do effectively in our laborious, clay soils. Photograph: Jackie Warburton

Gardening author JACKIE WARBURTON seems at a Banksia that does effectively in our area and braces for the beginning of frosts…

COASTAL Banksia (Banksia integrifolia) is a hardy, fast-growing perennial that draws native birds and encourages an abundance of habitat. 

Jackie Warburton.

It grows effectively in our area and, if given an opportunity, can tower in a backyard to 10 metres or extra. 

Extensively grown alongside the east coast of Australia, it’s appropriate for sandy coastal soils to inland soils within the mountains. Happily, its root system is just not recognized to be invasive and has shallow roots that do effectively in our laborious, clay soils.

It matures at round 5 to 6 years and, as a member of the Proteaceae household, wants solely native fertilisers which are low in phosphorus.

The bark has fascinating and tessellated greyish-to-brown patterns and its flowers are fodder for bats or possums and a magnet for nectar-feeding birds such because the yellow-tailed cockatoo. Purple wattlebirds are ferociously territorial when the plant is in flower and can guard the big, lemon-yellow flowers for themselves. 

Coastal Banksia flowers on previous progress and the one pruning could be to snap off spent flowers to go away old-branch progress for subsequent yr’s flowering. A Banksia that’s not flowering wants extra daylight and a bit native fertiliser will assist with flowering in autumn and placing on good progress earlier than the chilly climate units in. 

If planting a Banksia this season, dig a gap double the scale of the pot, guarantee there’s good drainage, add a bit coarse sand and water in effectively. 

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Mexican Butterwort… carnivorous plant that use their sticky leaves to catch small bugs and bugs similar to fungus gnats. Photograph: Jackie Warburton

THERE are about three to 4 weeks till we’re resulting from get the primary frost for the season. Anzac Day has at all times been the sign for my glasshouse doorways to go on and indoor and frost-sensitive vegetation to be moved inside. 

I’ve two giant glasshouses that don’t get underneath zero levels in winter and are a saviour for giant vegetation that don’t match into the home. 

As well as, rearranging my vegetation indoors for winter, I at all times add a pot or two of Mexican Butterwort (Pinguicula emarginata), which act as dwelling sticky traps. They’re carnivorous vegetation and use their sticky leaves to catch small bugs and bugs similar to fungus gnats. 

Fungus gnats breed in moist environments the place fungi grows. If there’s an abundance of them, then overwatering may very well be the problem. Monitoring the variety of bugs on the leaves of the Butterwort will point out if there is a matter with indoor vegetation. 

Butterworts are from the Americas and develop naturally alongside Agaves, succulents and Tillandsias. They’re tropical vegetation and received’t survive in our out of doors winters, however a worthy plant to have indoors in a shiny gentle and never in direct daylight. 

Most significantly, use tepid water to maintain it moist however not moist, and restrict overhead watering. Replanting needs to be carried out in spring or within the hotter months. Use 50 per cent sphagnum moss and 50 per cent sharp washed river sand, however no fertiliser.


  • Apples are ripe for choosing when the stalk comes away simply from the tree.
  • Inexperienced manure crops may be planted now in fallow, weed-free floor.
  • Put together the bottom for rising garlic in full winter solar. 
  • Trim conifers and evergreens earlier than the chilly climate units in. 

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Ian Meikle, editor