Chamelaucium - The Geraldton Wax Flower
A native shrub growing to around 2m, Chamelaucium uncinatum is the Geraldton Wax flower. However the varieties grown in Australian gardens are generally hybrids with improved vigor and larger flowers.
With over 30 Chamelaucium species hybridization has produced some of the best cut flowers available, and in the garden they can be easy care plants. As cut flowers, they are Australia's leading commercial wildflower.
The secret to growing Geraldton Wax flowers is sun, good drainage and neglect. In nature they grow in poor sandy soils and do not need lots of fertilizer and rarely require watering.
The modern hybrids come in an outstanding number of varieties, flowers from white and pink to reds and yellows. These hybrids also have larger flowers. Most varieties will reach around 2m in height.
Chamelaucium grow well if planted in late winter to spring, they will require water through the first summer, once established, little to no water is required except in extended very dry periods.
The best time to prune wax flowers is in spring immediately after flowering. Plants can be hard pruned, this ensures a dense bushy growth and more flowers in the next season.
In the home garden they are often kept pruned to form a shaped bush. A well drained soil and a sunny position will suit best.
Grafted varieties of Geraldton wax or Chamelaucium are more resistant to disease. However in good conditions they are all relatively easy to grow.