Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
New Zealand Tea Tree
Once in a while we come across a plant not readily found in every other garden center. You know the kind. As we stroll through the center it's a plant that captures our attention not only because it is new but because something about it is intriguing. We do the research to determine if it is one that could be successful in our setting. Then we carefully determine where it will be sited correctly. Such was the case with this little specimen, Leptospermum scoparium New Zealand Tea Tree (or Tea Rose as it is sometimes called), when choices were being made for foundation plants for the northside berm. Although not much information was available about it, it was deemed worth the fair price to give it a try. Three of them were planted in a trianglular position behind the flax lily border and next to the European fan palm. Most likely too close together for the mature width of them if indeed they do grow to 3 or 4 ' wide and a possible 10 feet tall. Slow growers they are from the information I could gather. The thinly shaped and almost sparse foliage casts a deep blueish-green color. The tiny paperish blooms bud out along the entire upright stem. Starting out almost white in appearance they are so very light pink evolving to a deeper rose color over time. Once established they are reported to be drought resistant and cold hardy below freezing. Mine were planted the first week of February when we were still experiencing dips below that mark. They have been constant bloomers these past three months. But once the temperatures balanced out to normal (in April) they have really come alive with their tiny blooms covering each stem. So far so good. The real test will be seeing how they take our summer humidity. And these past two weeks ... our spring humidity! Whew... someone please turn off the humidifier.