A much sort after little tree but a bit of a fuss pot. It can grow to 25ft after 25 years but must have the poor, well drained and acid soil that its clan (the Protea family) requires. Unfortunately, this is probably the most demanding of the clan. It's common name - The Chilean Fire Bush - is descriptive. Although not a particularly architectural plant, one must admit that it's one hell of a fine site when in flower. Absolutely covered in very red flowers in July. Although fussy about soil, this is more of a woodland plant than most of its relatives so will grow in sun or shade.
Propagated by us from seed.
On a botanic note : this is a member of the Protea family - all from the southern hemisphere - Australia, South Africa and South America. Members of the Protea family have all evolved in poor, acid soil with the result that they don't like chalky soil and they don't like phosphate. Poor sandy or peaty soil is ideal. When I say they don't like phosphate - it's actually toxic to them. Give a member of this family a good top dressing of horse manure in the summer and expect the plant to be dead in 2 weeks flat. The answer is to neglect them - never feed them, leave them alone. You'll find an amazing collection of this family growing near the main house at Wakehurst Place. Many were planted by the curator in the 1980s and early 1990s (Tony Schilling) who seems to have been one of the first people to make the connection with the phosphate problem. Interestingly, it was later discovered that the area around the house where they're planted is notably low in phosphate.
IF IT HAS AN AMBER TRAFFIC LIGHT
Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.
This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.
Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.
General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.
|Coastal, Exotics, Flowers, Grown by Us, Pots, Soil - Dry/Well drained, Space & Light, Trees - Small|