Festive Colour

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New Zealand Christmas Tree

The festive season heralds the vibrant colour of New Zealand Christmas tree Pohutukawa. Its stunning red flowers are a feature of New Zealand’s coastline in mid summer and are a rich source of nectar for bees and native birds.

Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsea) can be started from seed and will eventually grow to around 5 – 8 m tall when mature. There are also new dwarf varieties that grow to a much more compact 1 – 3 m and can be planted into containers or grown as a dense hedge. They’re hardy plants, tolerating dry, coastal and full sun conditions.

Native plants like Pohutukawa will benefit from being fed each spring and autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food. It’s a pelletised blend of composted chicken manure, blood & bone, fishmeal and seaweed and releases organic nutrients slowly to gently feed plants.

Regular applications of Yates Dynamic Lifter will help to improve the levels of organic matter in the soil, which encourages earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms as well as promoting improved soil moisture and nutrient storage.

After the floral frenzy of spring, it’s fantastic to be able to include summer flowering plants like Pohutukawa in your garden, to help ensure an ongoing supply of food for birds, bees and other beneficial insects.
Tidy tip: after flowering, give New Zealand Christmas trees a good trim to help keep them neat and compact.
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Festive Poinsettias
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The Northern hemisphere enjoys vibrant red poinsettias during their chilly Christmas weather, which is when they naturally flower and produce their showy coloured bracts.

New Zealanders can also enjoy beautiful poinsettias during our hot summers due to some very clever light control done by plant nurseries.

They create an artificially short 10 hour day in special greenhouses, for around 2 months, to convince the poinsettias that it’s no longer summer and they should start flowering!

Gorgeous pink and white poinsettias are also available and provide some friendly festive competition to traditional red poinsettias. A white poinsettia planted into a decorative pot and teamed with Christmas ribbon makes an impressive table centrepiece or gift.

And the pink poinsettias are just so pretty and are perfect when combined with white and silver decorations.

Growing Tips:

Crepe myrtles

Summer is when crepe myrtles start their fabulous flower show, with trees being smothered in vibrant flowers for many weeks. Available in a range of different flower colours, from white through to light and dark pink, lavender and almost red, crepe myrtles also have fabulous autumn foliage colours and very attractive bark.

There are crepe myrtles to suit both large and small gardens, with tall varieties like crimson ‘Saint Emilion’ reaching 4 m and pink flowered ‘Little Chief’ being a compact 1.5 m tall.

After flowering has finished, where possible trim off the spent flower heads to help keep the crepe myrtle tidy and spread Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food around the root zone to encourage new growth and improved soil health.


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