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Plant Uses Hedging Plant

Best uses

Great for use as a small dense hedge if kept clipped. Great border plant in touch dry sites where growing conditions are harsh.

Physical characteristics

A small compact evergreen shrub that grows up to 1.5m tall and 2m wide.

Flowers and foliage

Small white bell-shaped flowers are produced in spring followed by blue-black fruits along the stems in autumn. Dark glossy green foliage is oblong to rounded bright green and leathery.

Preferred site

Prefers partial shade or full sun and tolerates coastal conditions especially wind and dry soils once established. Avoid water-logged/swampy conditions.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy well-grown plants. Planting success is often improved on clay soils by adding extra topsoil and forming raised beds. Incorporate coarse sand bark compost or other organic material to improve soil structure. Planting after autumn rains when the soil is moist and warm allows trees and shrubs to become established before winter this enables them to withstand dry periods during the following summer. Before planting ensure that the root-ball is saturated and remove planter bag pot or wrapping with the minimum of root disturbance. Trim any broken roots or branches and plant at the same level as in the container.

Long term slow release fertilizers may be added at this stage. As soil is placed in the prepared hole tread firmly to bring soil in close contact with the root-ball. Mulch well so the roots stay cool and moisture is preserved. Water moderately so the plant does not dry out. Plant around 1.5m apart or 75cm apart if planting as a hedge.

Maintenance tips

Mulch annually around the planting site to conserve soil moisture. Organic material such as sawdust and bark contribute to soil structure as they decompose and help suppress weeds however keep the mulch from the plant stem. Except on very fertile soils an annual light dressing (50g/m2) of general purpose fertiliser or one used for acid-loving plants after flowering during growth and up to early budding. Sprinkle evenly and work into the top 2 to 3cm of the soil taking care not to damage surface roots.

Pruning is rarely needed other than to trim to shape if required.

Ecological and biodiversity benefits

Skinks and birds love the berries.

Pests and diseases

No pest and disease issues.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Native Plant Ideas