This shrub has erect, vertical, disorderly branched, thin, woody, dark-colored stems; the small leaves are of various shapes, from needle-shaped to lanceolate, up to oval or round and in the variety rotundifolia, have a dark green color; in some species they are pubescent.
From May until the end of summer these shrubs produce small five-petalled flowers, white, pink or red in colour; some cultivars have double or extra-double flowers.
The flowers are followed by the fruits, round woody capsules, divided into five sectors, which persist on the plant for months.
I leptospermum scoparium reach a height of two meters and are particularly suitable for group cultivation, to produce a showy stain of color during flowering.
These shrubs need to be planted in the sun or in the shade; they develop without any major problems even in complete shade; they can bear temperatures close to -7°C for short periods; for this reason it is therefore best to plant them in a sheltered place and eventually cover them with tnt during the coldest months of the year. It may also be useful to place some leaves or straw in the shelter of the roots and the stem so as to avoid that the icy temperatures ruin the plant.
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For a correct development of the plant it is best to water regularly, from March to the first cold days, avoiding letting the soil dry up too much between one watering and the other. Remember, however, to avoid the formation of water stagnations that can be very dangerous for the welfare of the plant.
During the growing season, it is a good idea to provide flowering plant fertiliser mixed with water from the watering. After flowering use a slow release fertilizer that will ensure the correct nutrient supply for the whole growing season.
Place the Leptospermum scoparium in a sandy, well-drained, slightly acidic or neutral soil. These plants can also be grown in pots, but it is good to repot them every two years, increasing the size of the container. These plants are quite resistant and adapt well to different types of soil, the important thing is that the soil allows proper drainage but also the maintenance of a proper degree of moisture.
Sow in spring, in a warm bed, keeping the soil humid; in summer, it is possible to take semi-woody cuttings, which are to be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts. The cuttings can be planted after one year of cultivation in a protected and sheltered environment, so that they have been able to strengthen and are ready to take root in the new soil. Repotting should be carried out in early spring.
Leptospermum scoparium: Pests and diseases
Generally these plants are not attacked by pests, but in conditions of poor drainage can promote the onset of root rot. Some of the parasites that could affect the Leptospermum scoparium are the cochineal, especially the floury and aphids. To counteract its effects it will be possible to use one of the many specific products available on the market that will perform an effective insecticide action.