Silky Oak | Grevillea

Like all members of the Proteaceaefamily the silky oak is native to the southern hemisphere where it grows as a shrub or tree. Because silky oaks usually do not flower in cultivation, species such as G. banksii and G. robusta are mostly grown as decorative foliage plants. However, older specimens of varieties such as G. rosmarinifolia have beautiful orange-red flowers. While C. robusta prefers partial shade, G. rosmarinifolia is happier in full sun. However, they are easily damaged by rain. The soil must never dry out completely or be waterlogged. It is important to use soft water when watering so that the plant does not suffer from iron deficiency. It should be given small, weekly applications of fertilizer.

In winter it should be moved to a bright, well-ventilated place where the temperature is between 5-15° C (41-59° F). G. robusta can also over-winter in a dark place but in that case it will lose its leaves. Older plants can be cut back lightly or vigorously as required. It can be raised from seed almost all year round. It can also be propagated from summer cuttings but these root very slowly.

11. August 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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