A compact evergreen native multibranched small tree that grows up to 5m tall and 2m wide.
Flowers and foliage
This Pseudopanax has bronze green toothed leaves produced in groups of 3-5 at the end of long stems. Small inconspicuous green flowers are produced from November to February.
Prefers a warm site in partial shade with well draining soil. Tolerates wind but not coastal sites (as coastal wind often contains salt) or frost.
Preparation for planting
Always choose healthy well grown plants and plant after autumn rains as the soil is moist and warm and allows plants to become established before winter. This enables them to withstand dry periods during the following summer. Young plants require thorough watering during dry periods over the first two or three years mulching helps to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Planting success is often improved on clay soils by adding extra topsoil and raising beds. Incorporate coarse sand bark compost or other organic material to improve soil structure.
Before planting ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter bag or pot with minimal root disturbance. Trim any broken roots and plant at the same level as in the container. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball and firm in and water once planted. Make sure plants are watered well until established if planting in a drier period. Plant with some general slow release fertiliser and then every spring apply an organic based fertiliser such as blood and bone at a handful per square meter as new growth begins. The worst fate for a tree is to be planted in a hole where the root ball is allowed to sink below the surrounding ground level. Therefore it is generally desirable to plant trees into slightly raised beds of well cultivated soil. This improves drainage and provides near surface roots with well aerated soil in which to grow.
If planting as a hedge plant approximately 1m to 1.5m apart.
Mulching annually helps suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Organic materials such as sawdust and bark contribute to soil structure as they decompose but keep mulching material away from the trunk. They benefit from a dressing (50g/m2) of general purpose fertiliser in early spring as new growth begins this will encourage more vigorous healthy growth. Sprinkle evenly and work into the top 2 to 3cm of the soil taking care not to damage surface roots.
The first summer and autumn after planting is critical for young plants; water thoroughly during dry periods. Pests and diseases can have serious debilitating effects on young plants; check regularly.
If growing as a hedge prune in the first year after planting to ensure even dense growth. Hedges planted in autumn should be cut back by half during late spring. Trim again lightly in late summer. During the second winter (or in early spring) trim moderately to remove half the previous seasons new growth. Feed hedges at least once a year with a balanced fertiliser ideally in early spring. Avoid heavy pruning in autumn as this promotes soft new growth more susceptible to frost damage. Hedges should be shaped so they are narrower at the top than the base. This allows more light to reach the hedge sides and prevents it from becoming top heavy and unstable and is easier to maintain. A handful of an organic-based fertiliser per metre of the hedge will be beneficial.
Pests and diseases
Pest and disease-free.
Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens
Native Identification Trail
Interesting facts and tips
Found naturally growing in coastal and lowland forest and shrubland, from sea level to approximately 750m above sea level. There are separate male and female trees but the female only has female flowers the male tree can be bisexual.