Silky Emu Bush: Eremophila nivea Grafted

This has to be one of the most tactile of native plants, rivalled closely by Adenanthos sericeus, with its silver white foliage and hundreds of purple flowers it is a coveted specimen for many gardeners. The bees love it too as you can see in the image above.

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Eremophila nivea is absolutely striking even when not in flower, nivea Latin niveus means snow or snow white, referring to the overall appearance of the shrub, this silver colour contrasts easily with other greens in the garden and make this a stunning feature shrub. Eremophila nivea is from Western Australia and therefore dislikes the weather and soil on the east coast and needs to be grafted if it is to survive here. Two common varieties are Eremohpila nivea ‘Blue Velvet’ and Eremophila nivea ‘Beryls Blue’, they vary slightly in foliage and flower colour.

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The main reason for this post is that Eremophila nivea loves to be pruned, it should say ‘please prune me!’ on the label. The plant in this blog post receives pruning twice a year, nothing major just an all over tip prune to shape. This is done for two reasons, the first is to thicken it up and encourage flowers the second is to strengthen the plant. Because this is a fast growing species and quite dense it can easily snap in strong winds, especially after rain when it is top heavy. I planted this specimen 2 and 1/2 years ago and it has never looked so amazing!

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Eremophila nivea Grafted can also be grown very successfully in pots if you don’t have a free daring soil or raised bed. Keep watering to a minimum and only water the soil around the root zone, don’t forget to tip prune and you should end up with a beautiful full snow-cloud of a plant dotted with purple 😉

30 thoughts on “Silky Emu Bush: Eremophila nivea Grafted

  1. Karen Kiddey on

    Hi could you please reply to my email address to let me know if you sell these grafted Eremophila Nivea plants. If so what size would they be and how much please. Thanks kindly. Karen

  2. Sharon walpole on

    My plant is turning brown and does not look very healthy. It is in a pot and I have kept watering to a minimum. Can you advise whether I should repot or prune. It has flowered this year.

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Sharon,

      It may be time to pot it up with some fresh native mix potting mix, especially if it has been in the same pot for more than 18 moths and has put on a lot of new growth.
      I would also give it a light prune after flowering of 15-20%
      Hope this info helps,

      Best,

      Kath

  3. Sally Riemann on

    Would this beautiful specimen be happy planted in a garden bed agajnetthe house facing south?

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Sally,

      That depends how much direct sun it would receive and if the the soil is well drained or not?

      Best,

      Kath

    • Caroline on

      Hi I don’t know how to help my plant. It looks thin and is longer thick and fluffy. My soil is clay although I have added top soil and gypsum. I have only pruned it once in four years and I am unsure if I should prune it more. I pruned it just before winter. What is the life span of this plant? Might the roots be rotting as that has been the case for several other natives in my garden. Please help.

      • Kath Gadd on

        Hi Caroline,

        The Eremophilas appreciate a tip prune once or twice a year, if you can prune after flowering that will help the shrub stay dense and compact.
        If you haven’t done it for a while I would suggest taking about 20% off all over and giving it some native slow release fertiliser.

        Good Luck!

        Kath

  4. Sarah on

    I’m wondering if these would be ok in Bathurst NSW. We get the hot summers but we do get frosts in winter a lot. Can they survive frost?
    Cheers Sarah

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Sarah,

      Yes I think Eremophila Nivea grafted form would be fine in Bathurst, as long as humidity is low and the frosts aren’t too severe it should thrive there.

      Best Wishes,

      Kath

  5. Luke R on

    I have some of the plants but now there is no silver leaves only green.
    Is this from the graft plant maybe?

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Luke,

      Yes it sounds like the root stock has taken over, can you still see where the graft is?

      Best Wishes,

      Kath

  6. chrisi Johnston on

    I have two of these plants, I love them so very pretty and soft, when is the best time for grafting and how do I graft this plant as never grafted before? Mine is looking a bit wild so trimmed tips, grows very quickly.

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Chris,

      I have never grafted either, I buy Eremophila nivea already grafted.
      Angus Stewart covers grafting natives in his books,

      Good luck!

      Kath

  7. Maureen Jarvis on

    I had a eremnophila nivea which thrive for 2 years but up died over night, what could the problem be, is it shallow rooted or deep rooted , my soil is 1 foot deep when it hits clay and builders rubble. I now have a new one and don,t want to loose it Maureen

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Maureen,

      Was your Eremophila grafted? whereabouts in Australia are you located?

      Thanks,

      Kath

  8. Kathy Wootton on

    Love the look of this beautiful plant. Can I grow/ purchase one in Melbourne?

  9. Cin on

    Thx for the tips. Mine flowered beautifully in the winter in Sydney and now some baby buds have dried up and some leaves have turned dry and fallen (soil is slightly moist not wet not dry). Is this a natural process in spring/ summer or should I be worried? (I also pruned a few weeks ago)

  10. I think I may have pruned my erimophila Nivea too severely as it was getting very spindly though it looks quite healthy. I’ve cut back most of the leaves.
    I hope it will survive. I live in Sydney. The plant has been in sandy soil in my garden for about 5 years now. Can you help
    Thanks
    Margaret

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Margaret,

      Would you be able to send a photo? that would help me advise,

      Thanks,

      Kath

  11. Yolande on

    How do I revitalize this plant that has been eaten/destroyed by kangaroos, I love this native it is so pretty but it is looking very sad & damaged

  12. Help !!!
    This silky-emu bush usually looks very pretty & healthy, very bushy, but the kangaroos have been eating it. How do I revitalise this plant??? …… Perth Western Australia

  13. Jean on

    Not sure if my plant has died. It is quite brittle but don’t want to throw it out if there is a chance it could still be ok
    We had a bout of heavy rain and we were away which flooded the plant last September.
    Can you give any suggestions please
    ?

  14. Rianne Wilschut on

    HI Kath and team,
    I bought a beautiful young Eremophila nivea from Heathcote wildflower nursery mid last year. I live in Brisbane, and have planted it in a high well-draining pot in full sun. It is healthy, has grown to three times its original size, and I have tip-pruned as advised …. it just has not flowered. Anything I can do?
    many thanks!
    Rianne

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Rianne,

      Is your Eremophila postitioned in full sun? many native plants will not flower if you are too nice to them 😉 they will just put on lots of new growth. Perhaps try backing off with the watering and giving it a little potash.

      Good Luck!

      Kath

  15. Kathryn O'Brien on

    Would a grafted Eremophila survive in Melbourne as a specimen in a pot?

  16. Sam on

    Hi I’m new to gardening and purchased a beautiful specimen of the emu bush. However, since planting it it is now droopy and sad looking. I live by the beach in Adelaide south Australia and have sandy well draining soil. It’s planted near my fence which has lots of sun throughout the day. The nursery said maybe I’m not watering enough due to the sandy well draining soil so I have increased watering over the last few weeks but it still seems sad and has not bounced back. Are there any tips or things that I should do to improve its current state. It was so beautiful….. please help?

  17. Libby on

    I’ve just purchased 4 of these from Bunnings. What companion plants would look good with these, both taller and shorter and ground covers? I’ve searched online for ideas but can’t find anything.

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