The Geraldton Wax Flower
A native shrub growing to around 2m, Chamelaucium uncinatum is the Geraldton Wax flower. However the varieties offered form sale and grown in Australian gardens are generally hybrids with improved vigour 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.
Geraldton Wax Care
The secret to growing Geraldton Wax flowers is mimic their natural conditions, sun, good drainage and neglect.
In nature they grow in poor sandy soils and do not need lots of fertilizer and rarely require watering.
Drainage is age most important aspect, as in wet soils they will quickly die as they are susceptible to root diseases. In areas where soils are naturally wet, try raising the level of the garden bed and planting Geraldton Wax on the raised section.
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.
If you are going to use a fertiliser, make sure that is low phosphate and use it sparingly.
One of the main problems is lack of sun, you will be better to plant in good sun than trying to treat then for the problems which tends to develop in shade.
These are a tallish plant, reaching 2 – 2.5 metres, they look great with Westringea and Correa, and can be used with many other native plants.
They can also be used with Salvias, Santolina and Lavenders..
- Full sun to light afternoon shade
- Good drainage
- Good air movement and low humidity
- Plant in spring and water though first summer
Pruning Geraldton Wax
This is one Australian native that responds well to pruning. The best time to prune Geraldton 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.
You can deadhead after flowering, just make sure that you do not prune back into old wood with no green growth on it.
Chamelaucium (Geraldton Wax) Varieties
Grafted varieties of Geraldton wax or Chamelaucium are more resistant to disease. However in good conditions they are all relatively easy to grow.
- Chamelaucium ‘Teina’s Delight’ has pink to tangerine flowers.
- Chamelaucium ‘Blossom Magic’ has darker red flowers.
- Chamelaucium ‘My Sweet 16’ – interesting form with white flowers that turn to red over a period, so both red and white flowers at the same time.
- Chamelaucium ‘Moon Delight’ – attractive red buds through winter followed by white flowers in spring.
- Chamelaucium ‘Chantilly Lace’ – tall stems with white flowers, later flowering.
- Chamelaucium ‘Lady Stephanie’. – More compact than some reaching around 2m in height. Pale pink flowers in profusion.
- Chamelaucium ‘Meringur Mist’. This is a hybrid C. floriferum x unicatum. Reaches 2 – 3 m in height and can be made more compact by pruning.
- Chamelaucium ‘Purple Pride’. – Reaches around 4m in height and spreads over 3m. Upright growth habit with two toned purple flowers.
Where to Buy Geraldton Wax plants
In Melbourne Try Kuranga Nursery- phone 03 9760 8100
York Rd Mt Evelyn VIC 3796
In Sydney Try Sydney Wildflower Nursery – phone 02 9548 2818 9 Veno St Heathcote NSW 2233
In Adelaide Try – Coromamdel Native Nursery – phone 8388 277728
Star and Arrow Rd Coromandel East SA 5157
In Perth Try Zanthorea Nursery – phone 08 9454 6260
155 Watsonia Rd Maida Vale WA 6057