Baccharis patagonica

Having described it as one of the wonders of the world, there are always ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ are there not? Baccharis has a slightly unfortunate habit that we have yet to diagnose but it rarely threatens its existence : from time to time – just occasionally – bits die and occasionally, the whole thing dies. You get to know this habit and will remove the offending branch as soon as it discolours. On older plants the removal of a branch exposes sinewy branches within – which can be a good effect on its own. Nature abhors a vacuum and the offending space soon grows over. Even when the whole thing dies, they still have the spooky habit of reappearing. Like a phoenix. Despite this inconvenient habit, we love it and have used it in many gardens – even right on the coast. It’s beauty (especially when clipped) completely eclipses these occasional lapses. Any reasonably well drained soil – but lots of light (full sun preferably) and even when not clipped it rarely exceeds 4ft in height. Having evolved in some of the windiest places on earth, it’s found that growing ‘out’ rather than ‘up’ works best. Salt tolerant.

Very nice examples of clipped and blobby Baccharis are at our nursery in Pulborough.

Propagated by us from cuttings – originally from a plant in the garden at Borde Hill near Cuckfield in West Sussex.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

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.

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