Baccharis - Growing Guide

Growing Baccharis halimifolia

Bush groundsel, Sea myrtle

This is a valuable shrub as a windbreak in coastal situations and, although it cannot perhaps be described as a popular or widely grown species, it does have its uses in windswept Cornish gardens.

B. halimifolia grows eventually to around 10ft in height with a similar spread. It has a vigorous upright habit with oval or rounded grey-green leaves of around 2-3in in length with large marginal teeth.

Female plants produce thistle-like silky white fruits which persist well into winter long after the leaves have dropped in autumn. The flowers on male and female plants appear in early autumn as large 6in white corymbs.

Softwood cuttings root easily in summer and seed can be sown in containers in the cold frame when ripe in the autumn. A light pruning from time to time over the years can encourage better flowering and, when mature, a hard pruning in early spring will rejuvenate this shrub. It can also easily be clipped into a loose hedge. 


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