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Callistemon Advice

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:55 pm
by Gravity_Bug

About 9 months ago I planted a row of 11 Callistemons along my fence line in an attempt to make a screen from the neighbours.
I planted 30cm pots and after 9 months they have only grown probably 5cm.

I don't have a green thumb and I'm not sure what the problem is, the cards on the plants said they would grow to 3m, at this rate it will take them 100 years.
I live in Sydney south-west (Campbelltown area), the soil is dense clay, I used clay breaker when planting them, I haven't used any fertiliser as I was told they don't like it.

I'm hoping to either make them grow at a reasonable rate or alternatively replace them with a plant that will thrive in the conditions, I don't want anything over 3m.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank You

Re: Callistemon Advice

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:27 pm
by tam
Hi GB a couple of things.
Did you dig a bed for them or just a hole in the ground with grass growing around them.
They will do much better if in a garden bed.
They do need fertiliser. You can buy native fertiliser and apply a couple of times a year. Fertilising now should see good growth in spring with the rains we have had.
Even though they are natives they still need a water in dry spells.
If you want to bush them up a light trim after flowering will help.

Re: Callistemon Advice

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:25 am
by Pam
The claim that natives do not need fertilising is a furphy. They'll just remain stunted if you don't feed them. Any fertiliser with a P factor (the second figure in the NPK ratio listed on the pack) of 3.0 or less is fine. Providing plenty of water should also give them a bit of a hurry-on. They will survive quite adequately on not a lot of water, but certainly will not thrive.