Daily Life

Seeding is Believing!

For me, no flower better symbolizes Australian native plants than a banksia, and even though they have a reputation for being relatively easy to grow and maintain, that hasn’t been my experience in my two years of having an Aussie garden, but I’ve finally got a seed of hope….literally!

Banksia seeds I planted in growth pods a couple of months ago and had basically given up on because they appeared unresponsive have started to sprout.

Only two seedlings have appeared, but it was unexpected and a great delight.

I tried growing heath banksia from seed last year and only one sprouted, but it was lost almost immediately upon moving it outside.

I planted the seedlings in pots that were too small to allow for growth last year, and transplanted them too early.

So I plan to keep them growing in the growth pods at a stable temperature with constant light during the day and kept in the dark overnight until they have grown to a sufficient state to be likely to survive outside. I’ll keep them in pots for at least a year, provided they make it through that stage, of course.

It’s a joy to have these plants appear as our track record with banksia isn’t great, which is really disheartening considering their reputation for hardiness.

We’ve had a coastal banksia in Kangaeroo Corner from day one in March 2022, and it has never flowered. It’s leaves are yellowing now and I’m unsure whether that’s through underwater, overwater or fertilizer burn. She is not in the greatest state, which is kinda sad as it was our second-most expensive tree purchase behind the now thriving discksonia antartica tree fern.

Hairpin banksia are a mixed bag, the biggest positive being a tiny little feller purchased through Mercari last autumn and planted immediately, then surviving through the winter, which was pretty impressive. That’s even more commendable because a much more robust hairpin that survived the brutal 2023 summer only to wither upon being planted in the autumn and then rapidly died (albeit with its roots strangled by the eucalypt). We’ve got another hairpin where the eucalypt used to be. She’s an impressive specimen, but signs of flowering that had been apparent when we bought her in December 2023 are no longer showing. I constantly scan her for signs of spring growth, but nothing is yet apparent to my untrained eye.

These have got nothing to do with the article, but they are blooming at the moment and really cute so I’m chucking ’em in here for aesthetic purposes

Finally, there’s the birthday candles banksia, which we have near the foot of the tree fern. I’m worried that it may be too shady, but am banking on the banksia’s reputation for resilience to get to to pull through. Still too early to judge yet.

In other news, one of the potted hardenbergia is thriving (and the others doing well even if they don’t have flowers), which is bringing me a daily dose of delight.

Gardening has become an immense joy, but me being me, also carries more worries than necessary, which is totally on brand as I worry if I don’t have something to worry about.