Leptospermum : Greenhouse Plants
FF – frost free only / C – cool, minimum of 7°C (45°F)
Perhaps a lot of people have bought these splendid shrubs in flower from a garden centre and been disappointed when they died during their first winter. In most areas they definitely need greenhouse protection, but given this will reward your efforts by being covered with little flowers in late spring. Leptospermum scoparium from New Zealand is the most popular. Although it has white flowers it is usually the varieties which are sold; ‘Red Damask’ is a double deep red, ‘Keatleyi’ is pink, ‘Nicholsii’ is red with purplish-bronze foliage; pale pink and double whites are also seen. Plants will flower well in pots but planted out will grow into tall shrubs which have fine attractive foliage when not in flower. L. citratum is particularly nice, not just for its white flowers but for the lemon scented foliage. Try raising some from seed. If you have enough plants some can be planted outside in a sheltered spot. If this experiment fails there will always be reserve plants in the greenhouse. Cuttings can be taken after flowering and rooted at 15°C (60°F).