Griselinia is up there with the best of them in terms of hardy hedging that is happy in most habitats. Let’s find out more about this nifty New Zealand native.
- Genus: Griselinia
- Most common variety: New Zealand Broad Leaf (griselinia littoralis)
- Other popular varieties: Variegata (griselinia littoralis ‘variegata’)
Originating in New Zealand, a Griselinia Hedge is densely packed with apple green foliage. It is an ideal plant for your borders as it likes sun and shade and will grow in most soil types. It enjoys being near water and its tolerance of salty climates makes it ideal for hedges in coastal towns. It can grow up to 6m in height (although it takes about 20 years to do so!) making it a good choice for medium to tall borders.
The Broad Leaf variety has apple green coloured oval shaped leaves, and there is a variegata variety that has green leaves with a white border.
Griselinia usually flowers in mid-summer (July in the UK) with small green/yellow flowers that do not have much of an impact.
A Griselinia Hedge produces bitter tasting purple berries in the Autumn. These enable the plant to self-seed.
A Griselinia Hedge can be pruned in the summer months – July to September in the UK – and depending on your topiary tastes, you can use hand or machine shears to achieve your goals. It is a relatively strong plant and can withstand a hard pruning if the needs arise.
Take semi-hardwood cuttings around 7cm in length, remove the leaves nearest to the cut and plant into pots in August, overwintering in a sheltered position. Once the frosts have passed in the Spring, plant into well prepared soil.
How to Plant a Griselinia Hedge
If you want to give the plant a good amount of time to settle in, planting in early Autumn is ideal.
- While you prepare your trench, soak the roots of your new plant in water, to let the plant realise that good times are coming!
- Take note of the depth they were already planted in the soil, as you’ll replant them to the same level.
- Dig your trench and add plenty of well rotted manure to provide nutrition for them to get stuck into.
- if you want a hedge in a hurry (relatively speaking!) space them about 60cm apart to give them room to grow happily and then firm them in. If you have more time, then 75cm spacing gives them time to get to a good size before they cluster with their neighbours.
- Water them well and give them some encouraging words while you’re at it.
Griselinia is hardy and rarely troubled by insects or diseases.
Fun Facts About Griselinia
- Its Maori name is Kapuka.
- It is named after Francesco Griselini, an 18th century historian.
- The term littoralis means “growing by the sea”; a reflection of it’s favoured habitat.
- It only has seven species, five of which are native to South America.
- Its bark was used in traditional Maori medicine.
- Griselinia wood has been used in ship building.
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