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Banksia baueri | Australian Native Growing Guide

Banksia baueri grows to be a compact shrub with green, serrated foliage and a big, fluffy flower head. They can grow to be 2 metres high and around 3 metres wide. 

However, depending on the conditions they grow in, they may grow to be a little bigger as well. The possum banksia normally flowers between Winter and Spring and requires little maintenance overall.

Follow our grow and care guide for everything you need to know to grow Banksia baueri in Australia. 


Banksia baueri Features

Genus: Banksia
Species: B. baueri
Family: Proteaceae 
Common Name: Woolly Banksia and Possum banksia
Flower Colour: Orange
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 2m
Flowering: Winter to Spring

Possum Banksia Care Guide

Also known as the Possum Banksia and Woolly Banksia, this shrub is native to the southwest of Western Australia and, like its relatives, it is a part of the Proteaceae family.

It performs best in climates that have a dry summer however, there has been success growing the shrub in more humid climates. The most striking feature is the large creamy-orange flower which tends to turn a little grey as it gets older. 

Like all banksias, the Banksia baueri is very good for attracting honey eating birds and other birdlife as they have nectar-rich flowers that can be a valuable food source.

This Banksia is another example of a great feature plant. This shrub is also known to be quite tolerant to frost and drought once matured and requires well-draining soil to grow optimally. 

They are however sensitive to fire as they do not have a lignotuber for vegetative regeneration after being exposed to fire. Woolly banksia propagates best from seed where using cuttings has been known to be less reliable. 

This is a great choice to add some luscious green texture to your garden that won’t require too much hassle. Once flowered, the Banksia baueri will crown a gorgeous, colourful flower that will attract the local birdlife.

This plant can be used in your garden as a shrub or potted into a large container to be used as a pot plant where using a potting mix for Australian native plants is recommended. 

Be sure to check our comprehensive guide on growing Australian native plants here

How to Grow Banksia baueri

How to Grow Banksia Baueri

Source: chickadeegardens.com

There are a few optimal conditions to consider when planting and growing this variety of Banksia. They are overall quite hardy shrubs that can tolerate a little neglect but, by meeting these conditions as close as possible, you will give yourself the best shot at a successful first propagation and growth. These conditions include:

  • Full sun to light shade.
  • Well-drained soil. Sandy and sandy-loamy soils are best.
  • Temperate climates. Perfect for coastal gardening.
  • Preferred soil pH levels are between 5.5 and 6.5.
  • Low phosphorus fertiliser is recommended.
  • Flowers between Winter and Spring.
  • Water when the soil appears dry (Around 1cm below the surface). Water until damp.

Propagating Possum Banksia

The two main ways to propagate this shrub is by seed or cutting. However, it is mostly recommended to use the seed method for this variety of Banksia as using cuttings seems to prove far less successful.

We will look at both methods as it is possible to have successful growth using either. 

Banksia baueri Propagation by Seed

You can extract seeds from a healthy Banksia baueri post-flowering or you can buy them from a native nursery as well. Here is how you can propagate your possum banksia using seed:

  • For best results, consider soaking the seed in warm water overnight to soften the seed shell which could lead to more successful germination
  • Place your seed in a small, well-draining container with a good mixture of Vermiculite and potting soil
  • Sow the seed gently into the mixture and cover it with a small top layer of soil. The seed should be sown as deep as the seed size roughly.

    Don’t allow the seed to lodge too deep into the mixture as it will require a good supply of oxygen to germinate successfully
  • Keep the soil moist but not wet as the seed could rot. Try not to let the growing mixture completely dry out. 
  • Germination can occur in 21 to 60 days.
Propagating Possum Banksia

Source: southernflora.com.au

Propagation Woolly Banksia by Cutting

Although not recommended for the Banksia baueri, it is possible to have successes propagating by using a cutting. Should you choose to use this method, we recommend the following process:

  • Remove a cutting from a healthy donor
  • The cutting should be around 75 to 100 millimetres in length with the leaves carefully removed
  • Place the cutting into the soil
  • Keep your cutting moist and in a well-lit, warm area
  • Cuttings can take a little longer to start growing so don’t be too hasty and remove them too soon

How to Plant Banksia baueri

Once you have your germinated seed or healthy cutting, you are ready to plant your Banksia. Place your seed or cutting in the desired location in your garden or a pot.

Place into well-draining soil and feel free to use a little fertiliser to increase nutrient supply. Make sure the plant receives good sunlight and air circulation during this time. Water lightly to keep the soil from drying out. 

This woolly banksia is known to grow slowly and should be expected to flower after about 3 to 5 years where it will then reach its full size shortly after. 

Undertake planting in Spring or Autumn in a temperate climate. Do not plant in the hottest or coldest periods of the year.

Possum Banksia Care Guide

Banksia Baueri is also known as the Possum Banksia and Woolly Banksia

Overall, the Banksia baueri is a low-maintenance shrub that doesn’t require too many supplements or excessive watering. Initially, you will need to water regularly, being careful not to wet the soil too much.

Always make sure your soil is draining the moisture sufficiently. Once matured, Banksia is very tolerant to dry conditions so you won’t need to water it much once the shrub is fully grown. 

You can add some slow-release native fertiliser once or twice per year to promote general health and pruning should only be done to control the shape and to cut off spent blooms. These shrubs do not respond well to light pruning. 

Possum Banksia Pests, Problems & Diseases

Overall, this Banksia is hardy and resilient. As it does supply nutrient-rich nectar, local birds and other small mammals like rodents and bats could be attracted to the shrub.

Caterpillars may also enjoy the leaves. But overall, this will not be detrimental to the survival of the shrub. 

Root rot and other fungal infections are common diseases. However, they are rare when the shrub is watered correctly and placed in the right area with good sunlight.

Should you notice mould or other rot starting to appear on the plant, remove the infected parts as quickly as possible and carry on maintaining your shrub as normal.

Banksia baueri Frequently Asked Questions

Growing Banksia Baueri

How long does a banksia tree live?

These tough shrubs can live to be over 100 years old. Proper care and maintenance will ensure it lives to its fullest capacity. 

How long does it take for banksia to flower?

They can take about 3 to 5 years to flower and about 6 to 8 years to fully develop. 

Can banksia grow in shade?

The Banksia baueri as well as the other Banksia specimens prefer full-sun to partly shady conditions. They are tolerant to drought and frost once fully developed. 

Does banksia have invasive roots?

Yes. The roots can become invasive and messy over time. It is recommended to plant Banksia away from water lines and paved areas.

Banksia Baueri Australian Native Growing Guide

Invite Native Beauty into Your Garden with Banksia baueri

This easy-growing, low-maintenance native shrub can be a great pick for your garden or as a large potted plant around the house.

Offering textured, leafy green foliage with a bulbous and beautifully woollen flower that can help accent earthly tones of cream and orange in your garden, this shrub is an excellent choice for beginners and experts alike. 

Not to mention the magnificent birdlife you can attract to the nectar-rich flowers of the Banksia baueri.

Last Updated on February 26, 2024

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About the author 

Nathan Schwartz

Hey, I'm Nathan Schwartz, team member at Aussie Green Thumb since 2020. I have a passion for edible plants and Australian native plants, both in the garden and in the Aussie bush.

As an avid traveller and camper, I love seeing the different landscapes and flora that Australia has to offer, and try to incorporate this into my own daily living.

Whether I am living on the road, in an apartment or have a big backyard working with practical and usable gardens in small spaces is my specialty.

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