Leptospermum ‘Cardwell’ becomes fully veiled in white flowers from late winter through to spring and early summer, it appears to be covered in white fluffy snow and is quite the show stopper. The weeping habit is a favourite of mine and it will happily grow in tropical, subtropical, and in cooler temperate climates.
An elegant shrub that is great used as a screen or informal hedge or as a feature tree with its large drooping branches, aromatic leaves (smell lemony when crushed) and abundance of small white flowers. This is best planted where it can be appreciated, if you would like it to be a small feature tree simply prune off the lower stems to reveal the base.
The small white flowers contain essential oils that can be used in soaps, candles and herbal tea. The exquisite smell of the flowers will attract bees, butterflies and nectar eating birds to your garden.
Growing between 2 and 3 metres high and the same in width. It is formally described as Leptospermum polygalifolium which grows around the Cardwell area in northern Queensland.
What this plant needs from you, is to be put in a spot with either full sun or part shade, if planting in shade it will flower less so make this a consideration when selecting a location. Leptospermum ‘Cardwell’ likes a free draining loam but will also grow very happily in a heavier clay soil.
Leptospermum are susceptible to the webbing caterpillar, try removing by hand or cutting off affected stems, if the infestation continues to be problematic just spray with a pest oil or pyrethrum. It can be trimmed to keep an attractive shape and promote a dense habit, blood and bone can be sprinkled at base or a slow realease native fertiliser in Spring.
This medium shrub is a hardy species it will be drought tolerant once established and is happy with wet feet for short periods of time. This is a fast growing species and when not in flower is still very attractive due to the pink new growth of the stems and its weeping habit.
Written by Jo McLuskey and Kath Gadd