Caring for your Weepers
Weeping Grevilleas can be planted at any time of the year provided the extreme days are avoided. They love the heat and will grow very quickly with a bit of water. Of course in their first summer they need a little more water.
They can be planted in part shade. But the more sun the more flowers. They love the heat. You can almost hear them growing in the summer!
When planting out we recommend that you dig a hole twice the volume of the pot. Replace the soil from the hole and because the soil has been loosened the roots will get established very quickly. Mulch in summer. But another little tip: don't mulch too early. As well assisting with stopping the soil drying out, mulch acts as an insulator and if you apply before the ground has warmed up you will actually retard the plants progress. We reckon early December is a good time to apply mulch.
Your new Weeping Grevillea will need a good stake. Don't rely on the bamboo. We suggest a star picket or a 50mm square hardwood post that is at least as tall as the graft after it has been well hammered into the ground. Replace the ties twice a year. From about year 3 the rootstock should be stout enough to no longer require staking.
Once established, Weeping Grevilleas are almost drought proof. But just as I like an extra drink on days over 300 C your Weeping Grevillea will enjoy and thrive and show you its appreciation of a an extra bucket of water on such days.
After all we are about having our specimen plants looking great not just surviving.
Weeping Grevilleas love being pruned. At first, when the head is a bit small, tip pruning the longest leaders will assist with the plant growing more laterals and getting thicker. You can do this by pinching the end soft growth (10 or 20 mm)with the thumb nail.
Later as the plant is growing more vigorously you can prune with secateurs to balance the growth or to shape whenever you like. When I was asked once about the best time to prune, I said "when you have the secateurs in your hand"
Now pruning will stimulate new growth so try and prune when there is good growing weather ahead. Thus, avoid the middle of winter when new growth could be sensitive to a frost or the middle of summer when those hot northerlies frizzle the soft tips. Deadheading the flowers is also a good way to keep your plant looking good but this has a good effect on stimulating new growth and keeping the plant bushy.
It is essential to remove any growth below the graft.
For gardeners who prefer a minimum amount of effort pruning once or twice a year is enough. As a reminder you can cut cut it back at the end of the footy reason and, if you like, at the start of the next season.
Weeping Grevilleas are very efficient feeders. It is not essential to feed them but they do respond well to an annual feed. Those slow release pellets are easy to apply. But as for all natives select the native plant food which have low P in the NPK ratio, (P being the chemical element for phosphorous).
When to feed, that's easy! On Grand Final Day. The amount of feed should be proportionate to the size and age of the Weeping Grevillea. Say a tablespoon for a young tree and 100ml or even a bit more for a large well established tree.
Try and understand how these pellets work. The hotter it is the faster the release and the wetter it is the more the release. So if we feed as the weather is getting warmer we will do the most benefit. And don't worry if the directions say the food will last 9 months because in those months without "R" in them (think about it!) the plant is semi dormant. There is little growth (photosynthesis) unless we have sun and at least 15OC. I will let you into a little secret -there are usually no days over 15OC from the beginning of June to mid August.
Weeping Grevilleas and the regular grevilleas are available to the public from our nursery at the weekends.
The Weeping Grevillea Nursery are active NGIA members.
Photo gallery of some of the fantastic grevillea flowers that are available