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Description

The Geraldton wax flower is a favorite of florists and water-minded gardeners. It is an evergreen shrub with a delicate branching structure, fine texture and remarkable wax-like flowers that last for weeks in cut flower arrangements. Native to Australia, it has proven to grow well in Inland Empire gardens in sunny locations and with low amounts of supplemental water. It can be featured in a raised planter and in combination with other flowering shrubs and perennials. As it matures, it can be trimmed to reveal interesting branching character.

Geraldton wax flower needs good drainage and a sunny location to achieve its best growth. Evergreen needle-like leaves grow on long, flexible stems; older plants can grow 5-7 ft. tall. Colorful flowers grow to 1/2 in. dia., are firm and waxy, and come in light pink to rose and purple. Several cultivars can be found in local nurseries and garden centers that include: C. u. 'Escondido Rose' is a standard size plant with deep rose colored flowers; C. u. 'Purple Pride' also grows 5-7 ft. tall and produces purple flowers.

Water Needs

The Geraldton wax flower and its several cultivars do best in sunny locations and with low amounts of supplemental water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water, however, this cultivar flowers best within the higher moisture range during the spring flowering season and then with monthly watering during summer.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Open, Mounding, Low-branching, Graceful, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 8 ft. - 10 ft.
Width: 6 ft. - 12 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Pink, White
Flower Season: Winter, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Sand
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Residential spaces, Foundations, Flowering accent plant, Espalier, Borders, Background plant

Maintenance

Prune in winter to expose branching if desired and to remove dead wood as necessary (D).

References

Associations

Plant Palettes