Australian Natives

Native

Callistemon care

Callistemon (Bottlebrush) have been beautifully busy during spring producing masses of vibrant bee and bird attracting flowers.

Once the flower show has ended, bottlebrush will start producing lots of small round seed pods, which remain clustered along the flowering stem. New foliage will then emerge from the end of the pod-covered stem. This can result in stems becoming woody and leafless and the plant becoming sparse over time.

To help keep bottlebrush looking lush and bushy, after the flowers have finished it’s time to give the plant a trim, cutting off all the most recent spent flower heads and seed pods. Prune to just below the old flower. This will encourage a fresh flush of new foliage on the stem tips and encourage denser leafy growth.
It’s important to prune as soon as possible after flowering has finished, so there’s ample time for new stems to develop during summer and autumn, that will be the source of next spring’s flowers.

Callistemon will benefit from being fed after pruning with some Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. It’s certified for use in organic gardens and is ideal for feeding Australian native plants like callistemon, slowly releasing gentle organic nutrients.

Regular applications of Yates Dynamic Lifter will also 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.

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Munchable Muntries

Muntries (Kunzea pomifera), also known as native cranberries or emu apples, are small native Australian woody groundcovers that are found along the south east coast, the Portland and Eyre Peninsula areas and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

They produce small green red tinged berries that taste like sweet spicy apples. The berries are super versatile and can be eaten raw or used in both savoury and sweet dishes including jams, chutney, pies, wine, muffins, desserts, dips, cheese platters, salads, sauces and meat stuffing mixes and glazes. They make a delicious substitute for sultanas or apples.

Muntries are higher in antioxidants than blueberries so they’re a worthwhile and very healthy addition to your garden and diet. Muntries were a favourite food of the Narrinderi people in south eastern Australia and also called these berries munthari, muntaberry or montberry. Not only were they eaten fresh but also dried for the winter months or made into a paste.

Kunzea pomifera will grow to around 30 cm high and spread to 2 m wide and will grow in full sun or a partly shaded spot with moist well drained soil. They can also be grown in pots and can be trained up a low trellis to make harvesting the berries easier. Small white flowers that resemble gum blossoms appear in spring, followed by the delicious berries.

To keep kunzea plants healthy and producing lots of fruit, feed each spring and autumn with Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. It’s a rich, organic plant food that’s ideal for feeding Australian native plants such as kunzea. It will also help to improve the quality of the soil by providing a concentrated, composted source of earthworm and beneficial soil microorganism attracting organic matter, as well as promoting better water and nutrient holding capacity.

Gourmet tip: visit the TuckerBush website to see Caveau’s delicious recipe for kangaroo rolled in wattle seed, pickled muntries, coastal greens and sandalwood nuts. What an amazing way to use some of the finest Australian native edible plants!

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