One of the lovliest of all of the Banksias is Banksia ericifolia or Heath-leaved Banksia. A native to coastal areas of NSW and Southern Queensland will grow to 5m although a number of forms are available some.
Banksia ericifolia will flower during Autumn through to winter with brilliant orange or deep red flowers a white or cream form has also been identified.
A dwarf form B.ericifolia “Little Eric” will grow to around 2m, while B. ericifolia nana ‘Bulli Baby’ is another dwarf form. B. ericifolia Orange Glow and the well known ‘Giant Candles’ (see picture right) are other cultivars.
The large flowers are long lasting and excellent for attracting birds and bees to the garden. Florists and flower arrangers also love the strong strucural shape of these flowering marvels.
Like most banksia, Banksia ericifolia prefers a sunny position in a well drained soil. Be a little patient when starting out as Banksias in general do not have vigorous root systems and tak a littl while to settle in. New plants need some moisture, older plants are reasonably drought tolerant. It is worth cultivating the soil to loosen it up and water it well before planting, this encourages deeper root growth and stronger plants.
Pruning should be light and regular rather than hard pruning. Hard pruning can kill banksias fairly quickly, however many gardeners do not prune Banksia ericifolia at all, they just cut the flowers.
Banksia ‘Coastal Cushion’
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