The most weeping of the weeping: Myoporum floribundum

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I am obsessed with plants with a weeping habit or drooping foliage, some people find them sad and depressing looking but they are my favourite. There are many native plants with soft long leaves or gently falling branches, they can create dense screens, focal points or backdrops. Weeping foliage in a garden gives a relaxed informal feel, especially as it moves easily in a breeze.

Myoporum floribundum is perhaps one of the most droopy native plants I know of and at its most showy when in flower, its tiny white flowers cover the stems like light snow in spring and summer. A range of insects are attracted to the flowers and these in turn attract insectivorous birds.

Branches are spreading and leaves are very long and pendulous, they hang from the branches giving the plant a droopy and somewhat wilted appearance. This is far from the case as plants have proved to be hardy, drought resistant and tolerate frost.

Myoporum floribundum grows naturally in the coastal ranges of Victoria and southern NSW, in gullies and creek beds, where it enjoys a sheltered shaded position.

It will survive in full sun as long as water is given in prolonged dry periods, it also copes well with frost and colder climates.

I like planting it under the canopy of larger trees where it can pop its head up and be seen when in full bloom, if pruned it will thicken up to some extent and looks great planted with densely mounding shrubs like Baeckea virgata Dwarf for contrast. Mroporum floribundum is becoming rare in the wild and makes an excellent talking point in the garden so please consider it when you are looking for something more unusual and weeping of course!







19 responses to “The most weeping of the weeping: Myoporum floribundum”

  1. julie

    Hi, I recently acquired a small Myoporum floribundum slender boobialla and am wondering if it is possible to grow this shrub in a large pot or tub.
    Thanks, Julie

    1. CB

      Hi Julie, I have one that’s been in a pot for many years now.

  2. Jane Maxwell

    this plant in my garden in mittagong is a native insect magnet, when in flower it thrums and quivers with native bees, flys, wasps, beetles and little grass blue butterflies

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for letting me know this is such an important plant for our native insects, I’ll add them to the tags.

      Happy Gardening!


  3. Marian Waayers

    I have one and has finished flowering but since then doesnt look good. Its in a big pot ..whats the problem plse advise

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Marian,

      Are you able to send me a photo please?



      1. Alice

        Hi Kath,
        Beautiful read for such a beautiful plant.
        Have you had any experience transplanting these? I think the one I have in my garden would be better suited under a big eucalyptus, to promote a more dense growth as it’s getting a bit leggy.

        1. Kath Gadd

          Hi Alice,

          Apologies for the delayed response. If it’s been in the ground for less than 6 months it will probably be okay to transplant. Otherwise not. Pruning after flowering will help it develop dense growth and is your best option to tidy it up.

          Best of luck,

  4. Jacqui Griffin

    Hello Kath.
    I have a lot of brown leaves on my Myoporum that appeared after a profusion of flowers. When it went into the ground, it grew exceeding quickly in not great heavy soil, It is in a full sun position in a tiered bed
    The top 3 feet is leggy. If I run my hands along the branch, the brown leaves and spent flowers (seedy bits) come away.
    Some sites say you can prune to shape, others say remove spent flowers and yet others say they resent pruning.
    Any advice please?
    Many Thanks

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Jacqui,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I admit I have not come across your situation before.

      One thing you might have already thought of is that the plant has become less resilient after its flowering season because it used up a lot of resources in that flower show. Another stress might be water logging if you’ve had a lot of rain recently and your heavy soil doesn’t drain well. The sunny spot shouldn’t be an issue but all of the resources I’ve checked indicate heavy pruning is a no go. So I would make sure to be very gentle with trimming if you decide to try that approach.

      Let me know how you go,

  5. Hi Kath
    I wonder if you are able to tell me the life span of this beautiful plant?

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Michael,

      I’ll admit I am not really sure the lifespan of M. floribundum and a bit of research isn’t shedding any more light on the matter. From its growth and distribution I get the sense it’s fairly short lived (maybe 7-10 years if looked after) but it could last longer.

      I will have to keep an eye out for it from now on,
      All the best,

  6. Lynn Auld

    I have just planted 10 of these plants, approx 18inches tall. I was told to pinch off leaves but am anxious as to the amount to trim back and if it is from head as well as sides.
    Please advise.

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Lynn,

      It’s sounds like someone’s told you to give them a tip prune, which will encourage fresh, branching new growth. Tip pruning means taking off about 5cm of the new shoot (this sends the plant growth hormone back down the stem and causes it to spread out). If your plants are only 18 inches tall they don’t really need to be tip pruned yet. Wait until they get a bit bigger.

      All the best,

  7. Anna

    Hi looking for seeds, South Australia

  8. Lucy

    I have a potted plant, growing well in last 12 months, but after flowering the leaves are turning yellow. What can I do?

  9. Gay O’Keefe

    Hi Kath, I’ve a Slender Boobialla (my all-time weeping favorite) which is around 2.5 years old. Its first 12 months w me was in a pot till its best place in the garden was cleared. Since placed there, it has more than doubled in size & was completely covered in its white flowers. It was fertilised back then & now has a sporadic 2nd blush of flowers. Now tho there is some browning of some branches. I’ve not pruned as I was led to believe that’s not a good idea. But I’ve seen quite some mention of it here. So to lightly prune or not? I’d really appreciate advice re the browning too, please Kath?!
    Thank-you so much Kath, for your knowledge & help – in appreciation!
    Regards, Gay

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Gay,
      A light tip prune is what I have done with my own Myoporum floribundum, it doesn’t seem to like touching other shurbs and has gone brown on the ends. It does not like a heavy prune, so you are right not to have done that. Would also recommend a good soaking and fertiliser. Best wishes, Kath

  10. James M

    We planted a myoporum floribundum around Nov/Dec, was around a foot tall at planting and after settling in it really took off, now just over a metre high and had a lovely deep green with drooping branches. Its not flowered since we’ve had it. In the last 1-2 weeks it is starting to look a little sick, its a less vibrant green and some of the leaves are browning, particularly at the bottom branches. Its not flowered since we’ve had it. The leaves had a sort of sticky feel to them and it has an overall ‘dry’ look but checking water levels it is in a good range (the needle is sort of just past the middle on the wet/dry range), the soil pH is alkaline. It looks like its on the way out after such a strong start :((( Any ideas on what it might be or what we should do?

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