Wednesday, 26 December 2012

POTM: Grafted Flowering Gums

Plant of the month for January
As you are all aware; I will be choosing a range of plants each month that are some of my favorites. At the present time I have some awesome flowering dwarf gums in my garden and I would love to share a little bit about them with you.

Grafted Flowering Gums
Among Australia’s most popular native trees are the different varieties of Flowering Gums. But not everyone wants a large tree in their garden. These gum trees grow to as little as 3 meters or as big as 6 meters. This is a great size for a normal residential block of land . 

As you all know I work at a number of different places so this really keeps my brain active , recently arriving at Wollongong WholesaleNursery was a batch of dwarf gum trees and I have three in my own garden. If you're wanting the WOW Factor in your garden, pop into the nursery and choose one.

Summer Glory
From a careful breeding program over many years, a variety of great colours from white through to pink to red and everything in between, are now available. While all Eucalypts/Corymbias/Angopheras flower here we are talking about trees based on Corymbia ficifolia or its hybrids.

Summer Beauty
There are two main types available:

The hybrid versions
Summer Red 4-5 m, Scarlet Red colour,
Summer Beauty 5-7 m, Pale Pink colour,
Summer Glory 5-7 m, Purple Pink colour,
Summer Snow 5-7 m, Cream colour.

To get these hybrid flowering gums, a breeder has crossed a Corymbia ficifolia (Red Flowering Gum) with its close relative Corymbia ptychocarpa (Swamp Bloodwood) to end up with a range of beautiful small trees.

With these hybrids, the flower size is slightly bigger than the straight Corymbia ficifolias. All need to be grafted to ensure they grow true to type and label.

Because they have tropical tree genes in them, they have proven to have better and stronger growth in more humid climates such as Northern NSW and Queensland.

Dwarf Orange

The non-hybrid versions
Dwarf Orange 2-3 m, Fluoro Orange colour,
Calypso Queen 3-4 m, Watermelon colour,
Baby Scarlet 2-3 m, Scarlet Red colour,
Wild Fires 5-6 m, Fire Engine Red colour,
Lollypops 5-6 m, Powder Puff Pink colour,
Little Sweetie 5-6 m, Cerise Pink colour.

These non-hybrid varieties are generally selections based on normal seedling variation. Here collectors have found mature specimens that flower well, have good growth habit, size and colour, and have replicated them with grafting.

The rootstocks for all flowering gums are usually 'Bloodwood' or 'Spotted Gum'. Although these can grow into big trees, as otstocks for these Flowering Gums they seem to be governed by the size of the tree/bush grafted onto them. The grafting of Eucalypts has been proven to reduce the mature size of the tree.
These plants appreciate an annual prune after flowering before the gum nuts begin to form, which I do every year so if you want exceptional flowering gum why not look out for one of these at your local nursery. A good dose of a native blend (low phosphorus) fertilizer in early spring will also ensure better flowering for next season.

All the above photos were taken from my garden....would you be interested in having a dwarf Flowering gumtree in your garden?


  1. Please tell me how to get my dwarf ficifolia to flower. It is 3-4 years old and I had planted it in a half wine barrel in a native potting mix and although it has leaves but no flowers. Clare Edwardes

  2. My flowering gum if 2hrs is dying, leaves all dry with no obvious disease. The truck has gone powdery and something has scratched the surface from base to about 40cm ring barking the tree. Is there anything I can do to save it.


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