Articles and Fact Sheets

Print

Growing waratahs in pots

Growing waratahs in pots

•    Select a pot or tub 2-3 times larger than the existing pot and with excellent drainage holes in the base.
•    Fill the pot with a layer of orchid mix at the base then top up with standard free draining commercial potting mix that has no added fertiliser.  Do not use garden soil.
•    Plant the waratahs into the potting mix so that the base of the stem is level with the top of the mix.  Sprinkle some slow release native fertiliser over the surface and water in well.
•    Place the pot on a stand in dappled shade, protected from the westerly sun and westerly wind.
•    Water daily in summer and during hot windy weather and once every three days in winter (depending on rainfall). Pots should not get too wet or dry out.


•    Plants that have outgrown existing pots can be repotted into larger pots during cooler months.  Do not touch the roots.
•    Flower buds will form in autumn and stay on the plant all winter.  The leaves are frost hardy but the buds may be affected by frost. You can cover the buds with old panty hose to protect them.
•    When buds start to open in early spring, throw a handful of blood and bone with trace elements around the base of the plant and water in well.
•    Watch for any insect attack and spray with Confidor or place a Confidor tablet in the soil.
•    Pruning is best carried out directly after flowering in late spring. Trim canes back by half their length or more.  After 8-10 years, plants can be trimmed back almost to the swollen base of their trunks, called lignotubers, to bring on fresh growth.
•    Waratah flowers make a great cut flower and are reasonably long lasting. These plants make excellent specimen or feature plants in the garden or as a bushy shrub at the rear of the garden border.