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Acacia - Growing Guide
Commonly known as ‘Mimosa’
Acacia dealbata is the hardiest, best known and most widely grown in the UK of these Australian plants. A. pravissima, A. baileyana and A. rhetinodes are not far behind it in hardiness and will grow exponentially in a warm sunny situation with protection from cold winds in much of the south of England. A. rhetinodes and A. longifolia are also lime tolerant. Acacias flower at a young age and, with their speed of growth, they are well worth the risk in the current run of mild winters. If disaster strikes in a cold winter the plants are easily replaced and you will have had good value from them in the previous years.
The ultimate size of your acacias will depend on the mildness or otherwise of conditions in your garden but they are all small trees, A. dealbata is a large tree.
All acacias flower in winter or spring. With us A. pravissima is normally the first out in February and A. baileyana is usually the last in April but this can be variable from season to season and rather depends on when the milder spring weather arrives. More acacia are probably killed when in full growth in spring than by late frosts when dormant.
Acacia seeds, if you find them after a dry summer, are readily grown in containers in the greenhouse when sown in the spring with bottom heat. A. dealbata comes up like mustard and cress to give you hundreds of seedlings.
These plants are grown for their wattle flowers but also for their foliage which is very attractive and different in different species. Some species have leaf spines rather than leaves.
There are hundreds of acacia species that can be grown in greenhouses rather than the garden. Those we offer are all suitable for milder UK gardens and, especially, coastal ones. Wind is not the problem but cold is. The variation in forms of this huge genus are too numerous to describe in detail here but the photographs should allow you to select the forms which you like most.