Check Out These Pages, Too!

"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

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.


  1. Good morning Meems ~ I love the New Zealand Tea Tree. I had it many years ago but somewhere along the way it croaked. You are right that you don't see this very often, and it is a lovely plant. I hope it does really well for you. ~ It's awful that we are now into summer weather, but that's unfortunately the price we pay for living here. The humidity is horrible and we're thankful for air-conditioning. I try to get out to garden early and be in by 10, so as not to over do things and make myself sick.

    Have a nice weekend and enjoy your new bloomers.


  2. Good morning, Flower Lady,
    That is so cool you know this little tree. The fact that you grew it down there makes me wonder if it does better in your zone. Oh well, the jury is still out for it to do well over the long haul.

    Surely there will be another break in this weather before summer "officially" arrives. I'll be out in it allll day today. But I love my Florida~~ the good with the bad. Have a great weekend!

  3. It's beautiful...I'm sure it will do well for you.the humidity has been stifling hasn't it?

  4. I lost my New Zealand Tea Tree this winter (I'm in North Florida). It was about 10 years old and only 5 feet tall. I never pruned it, so, yes, they are slow growers. It would often bloom during warm spells of the winter too. I enjoyed it, and if I am lucky enough to find another one, I'll probably get one.

  5. The tree looks so pretty fully covered by those gorgeous blooms. I know bush-typed tea rose, but not this one. If I ever found one here, I think I will have a place for it since it is a small size of tree. Enjoy yours.

  6. If anyone can make the Tea Tree survive, you can Meems. I have tried several times here is Dade City.

  7. Good luck with your Tea Trees - they certainly look very pretty!

  8. Your Tea Tree looks very happy where you put it. It's fun to experiment with some unique plants not native to your area. Looks good so far. Hope it does well for you in the summer heat.

  9. That tea tree really gives a lot of color to your berm area. It is unusual and seems to be very happy there. I do hope the heat agrees with it.

  10. Darla,
    It started way too soon but looks like we get a bit of a break from it the next couple of days. Whew.

    Glad to hear they really are slow growers because of where I placed them. Sorry to hear you lost yours to this brutle winter. But 10 years gives me encouragement. I am going to like for the winter blooming if it decides to live here.

    Interestingly, this is not in the rose family ~~ but the tiny flowers do resemble a rose shape don't you think? The entire bush is narrow and upright and I'm thinking it won't need any pruning... another plus!

    Well, we are giving it our best try. I've read that if you keep it good and watered the first year it then becomes drought resistant and doesn't need much water. Who knows... I'm just treating like I would any other new plant and hoping for the best.

    Thanks, Katarina,
    Hopefully they'll still look pretty this time next year.

    It is fun to take chances once in a while with plants that challenge me. These little plants are unique in form, texture, and habit and yet have the attributes of cold hardy, drought resistant, blooming, and pest resistant... it all sounds good... now we see if they like it here.

    I really wish there was more reliable information out there on this little specimen. But you are right ~~ if they thrive here they will provide some winter-into-spring color ~~ which is always appreciated!

  11. Hi Meems...What pretty flowers. I love the color and how they bloom in a nice thick mass. It's always fun to find something new to try in the garden. I hope it doesn't mind our long hot summers because it sounds great for our winters.

  12. So pretty Meems. It's amazing how long the bloom period is for some tender/tropical shrubs. There are very few shrubs here that bloom for more than a week or two.

  13. this sounds like my kind of plant! ;-) cold hardy, drought resistant, bloomer, and unique! i want it - will you tell me when you see one again at a nursery?

  14. Hi Meems...
    I may have missed the blog spot that mentioned the best pruning shears by my fellow gardeners...any suggestions?

  15. I would love to have a copy of a photo on your opening (!) page (on the left of the screen) called "New Zealand Tea Tree" (without your logo in it). We have a garden, and with a big picture of flowers I like to copy the atmosphere of the garden in my daughters room.

    I hope you are willing to share your beautiful picture,

    thanks in advance, greetz from amsterdam


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway