This Summer of 2023 – 2024 has been extremely kind to out flowering gums, enabling them to put on a prolific show Australia wide. I’m not sure what has made them so happy, it could be adequate moisture whilst they are budding up or enough heat in the sun to make the blooms pop, whatever it is they are looking damn fine!
Many of the specimens in this blog post are located in Hobart, meaning that many of these will not be the dwarf grafted specimens many of us buy here on the ‘mainland’.
Corymbia ficifolia are grafted in order to enable the plant to cope with heavier soil types and more humid weather. Often they are grafted onto robusta or maculata, depending on the grower.
The gum nuts of this species are quite decorative and are a feature all of their own. If you would like to conserve the trees energy for new growth, it is a good idea to prune off the spent flowers before the nuts begin to develop.
Corymbia ficifolia makes a wonderful privacy screen as well as a feature tree. They are also an excellent height for a street tree under power lines, they will even respond well to be lopped.
I have always thought that the flowering gums make a fantastic alternative to a Crepe Myrtle, the image above demonstartes this perfectly. The only thing they can’t do it drop their leaves in Winter, however you can prune them back hard in Autumn and they will recover in time to provide Summer shade.
Most Flowering Gums can be expected to grow from 5 to 8metres tall with a low, dense canopy, the image below is of a mature tree which is around the 6 metre high mark.
Some of the grafted varieties will only reach 3 metres, but this height specification should always be taken with a grain of salt.
Colours range from Oranges to Reds through to Pinks and deep magenta, there also appears to be a differnce in the leaves between some of the cultivars too. Some have long, large leaves which almost have a weeping habit.
All species should have a showy flush of pinkish new leaf growth, and all species will attract plenty of pollinating insects and nectar loving birds and mamals.
When you are establishing your flowering Gum give them plenty of water, after that they should be reasonably drought hardy. They are also tolerant of light frost once they have been in for a few years. If you would like more information on Grafted flowering Gums please read the associated posts below.