Protea - Hakea - Growing Guide

Growing Hakea

Needle bush

Hakea are Proteaceae and originate from Australia. If you are going to attempt to grow these small evergreen trees outside in the warmest coastal parts of the UK they are probably best baked up against a sunny sheltered wall and all the growing hints and rules for growing other proteas also apply to hakeas.

In the main all hakeas are frost tender plants only for the greenhouse or conservatory but, one of those which Burncoose usually has in stock, Hakea lissosperma will indeed tolerate short spells at no more than -5°C with wind shelter.

H. lissosperma – Mountain hakea – is an erect open or bushy shrub growing in the wild to 10-20ft tall. It has stiffly upright and leathery leaves which can be 6in long with nasty prickly tips which necessitate gloves if you are handling this plant. In late spring or early summer the plant produces racemes of small white flowers and then warty dark brown seedpods.

H. laurina – Pincushion hakea – has deep globular flowerheads with white pin-like styles. Its long leathery leaves look very like eucalyptus and are very different from those of H. lissosperma. You may have seen these plants growing in Mediterranean countries as street trees or garden plants but they are really only for the greenhouse in the UK.



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