When I first came across Eremophila Big Poly (Eremophila bignoniiflora x Eremophila polyclada) I thought of it more as just another addition to my collection and just grew it in a pot for about 2 years. It wasn’t until I planted it into the ground though, that it actually came into its own.
Growing Eremophila Big Poly
The first thing I noticed was it grew very quickly to about 3m tall (in about 2 years). The other thing I’ve discovered is it does respond very well to harsh pruning, so my initial conclusion about Eremophila 'Big Poly' is that it is ideal for someone who wants to grow a quick growing, dense hedge.
Most of the flowers fell off after yesterday's thunderstorm. But it's covered in buds so it will flower up again over the next few days. Melaleuca linariifolia (dwarf) is in the foreground. Sounds pretty good really but this Eremophila has some other great features as well.
First of all it is very drought tolerant. The first two years after it was planted it grew very quickly and this was despite receiving very little rainfall and practically no extra water from me.
Another feature is that you can plant it in areas that suffer from inadequate drainage, as it naturally grows in areas that flood after rainfall and then dry out during summer.
Eremophila Big Poly Flowers
Eremophila Big Poly flowers in late spring and then into summer and this year it’s putting on a spectacular flowering display as it’s the first winter it’s experienced some reasonable rainfall, which as I write this, is now continuing into spring and hopefully early summer.
The flowers are a soft creamy/purplish colour which I must admit aren’t as spectacular as some of the flowers colours of other Eremophilas but nevertheless they make a welcome contrast to some of the deep reds, purples, blues and yellows of other Eremophilas.
And as I said, if it does get some extra rainfall it is very floriferous. It will continue to flower for the next couple of months and then it will get its annual prune.
So there you have it, an Eremophila that will grow quite a bit larger than most of the others. It is very drought tolerant, responds best to sunny areas, is fairly wind tolerant, will accept badly draining soil (at least for short periods), grows quickly and can be hedged easily (after flowering) into a hedge or a screen.
Sounds too good to be true really as it could be a solution to lots of problem areas you have in the garden.
Finding Eremophila Big Poly
So I suppose the next question is, what are its drawbacks? Well the biggest negative about this Eremophila is that it isn’t readily available in nurseries. In fact the day I purchased it was the only time I’ve ever seen it in a nursery.
As such, specialist Australian Plant Nurseries and Markets may be the only place you’ll find it, if you’re lucky. This I think is a shame and unfortunately is the case for many other very garden worthy Eremophilas as well.
I’ve often wondered though why this is the case and have come to a very obvious conclusion, but I’ve decided I will leave this for my next post, so stay tuned.
So if you're looking for a quick growing, drought tolerant plant you can hedge then Eremophila Big Poly may be your answer. That is of course if you can source it from somewhere.