The Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa) is a hardy Banksia growing to approx 2m. The natural habit is a somewhat sprawling shrub and perhaps not the best looking garden plant.
However through selection and hybridization a number of named cultivars are well worth a place in the garden.
Long narrow foliage is attractive through the year, however it is the flowers that appear from autumn through winter that are the main attraction to gardeners and birds alike.
Large cylindrical flower spikes usually in tones of orange to red. In some cultivars these can reach 15cm in length, often smaller.
Native to Victoria, New South Wales and through Queensland this low growing species is found for sale as named cultivars such as Banksia ‘Birthday Candles’, ‘Stumpy Cushion’ and ‘coastal gold’.
Also found as Banksia spinulosa var. neoanglica and var. collina. The species can be propagated from cuttings or grown from seed.
Banksia spinulosa ‘Honey Pots’ (picture below) is another cultivar well worth a place in the garden
Best in a sunny position in a well drained soil, the new cultivars require very little care however tip pruning to maintain a bushy habit is recommended.
Only use a specially formulated low phosphorus native plant fertilizer. Usually very little fertilizer is required. Yellow foliage is an indication that some may be needed.
Mulch around the plant to maintain a cool root run and water deeply every few weeks through the first summer.
The lower growing varieties make excellent potted specimens in a sunny position. The pot will lift the plant making the flowers more prominent as they appear.
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