Waratah Populations

The species is fairly widespread on the central coast and adjoining mountains of New South Wales, occurring from the Gibraltar Range, north of Sydney, to Conjola in the south. It grows mainly in the shrub understorey in open forest developed on sandstone and adjoining volcanic formations, from sea level to above 1000 metres in the Blue Mountains. Soils within its range tend to be sandy and low in plant nutrients. Rainfall is moderately high. Waratah plants resist destruction by bushfires, a natural element of their habitat, by regenerating from the rootstock. Flowering recommences two years after a moderate fire.




Where is the best place to grow waratahs?


The area where one proposes to plant Waratah should be tested for drainage by digging a hole the size of a bucket and filling the hole with water and observing the time it takes to drain away, if this is less than 5 minutes it is satisfactory and a good start. Areas naturally growing bracken have grown waratahs well in the past.

If drainage is a problem, may be a raised bed incorporating crushed sandstone may be an alternative.

Once good drainage is established, good watering is necessary.

Waratahs are poor competitors and will not perform well close to most eucalypts, so should be planted away at least the distance of the height of a mature tree.

  Telopea speciossima

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