Griselinea, or Pacific Laurel, is a hardy and popular evergreen shrub found in New Zealand gardens. Native to both islands, Griselinia is tough and can handle a wide range of conditions, from coastal to high altitude. It makes a great hedge, or can stand alone as an attractive feature plant. Although tough, Griselinea propagates best when you know the proper methods and techniques. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your Griselinea.
Seed or Cuttings?
Griselinea can be propagated via seed or cuttings, with cuttings being the preferred method. When propagating via cuttings, select healthy, mature stems and cut them into 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) sections just below a leaf node – the point where a leaf meets the stem. Be sure to use sharp, sterile pruners as this will reduce the risk of infection. Once the cuttings are ready, they can be planted immediately or held in moist sand in a cool, dark area.
Propagating from Seeds
If you choose the seed-propagation method, it is best to buy fresh, good-quality seeds from a reputable supplier. Place them in a cool, dry place until sowing time. Then, soak them for 24 hours in lukewarm water prior to sowing. Plant the seeds in a seed tray filled with peat-based compost and lightly sprinkle over some water. Place the tray in a shaded area or covered with a sheet of glass and keep moist. As the seedlings emerge remove the glass sheet or move them to a brighter location.
Once your Griselinea cuttings or seedlings have developed five to six leaves, they are ready for planting out. Choose a spot with part sun and free draining soil that has been enriched with compost. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root system and deep enough so that the roots will be submerged just below ground level when planted. Water in thoroughly afterwards.
- Regular Watering: Your new Griselinea plants will need regular watering until established (about three months). After this time, they should only need additional water during extended dry periods.
- Fertiliser: For best results, apply slow-release fertiliser once a year to keep your plants looking their best.
Pruning & Maintenance
Griselinea is tough enough to withstand harsh pruning if necessary. Prune in late winter to early spring to encourage bushiness and remove any dead or diseased branches as soon as you spot them. If left too long, dead material can affect the health of your plants.
Keeping your Griselinea healthy requires regular attention. Remove weeds from around the base of each plant and watch out for pests such as aphids and whitefly. If you notice any signs of disease, such as discolouration of leaves or unusual spotting, treat it promptly with an appropriate fungicide.
- Mulching: Applying mulch around your plants helps to keep weeds down and helps retain moisture in the soil.
- Long-Term Care: Your Griselinea plants will need regular maintenance over time including pruning and fertilising. With proper care they should thrive in your New Zealand garden for many years.
Griselinea is an attractive evergreen shrub that adds texture and colour to any garden.