When it comes to effort-light ever-green plants, the hakea laurina is a great option, especially for beginner growers. With remarkable deep-red blooms this Australian native adds an incredible pop and can grow in most climates.
Easy to obtain, easy to grow, here’s everything you need to know when it comes to the hakea laurina.
Introducing the Hakea Laurina
If you’re looking for a fascinating Australian native flower, look no further than the hakea laurina or the hakea laurina dwarf variety. This fantastically featured fauna is an evergreen and sought after Australian native plant.
Hakea Laurina is cultivar of the Proteaceae family and is a common garden and landscaping plant across Western Australia, much like the banksia varieties.
Its name is derived from Latin origin, with ‘laurina’ referring to the resemblance to the leaves of Laurel. The hakea laurina has long been considered a symbol of nobility and longevity.
Although considered a small to medium sized shrub or tree, the hakea laurina can grow up to 6 meters in height. When it comes to the hakea laurina growth rate, it is a significantly fast-growing plant.
The most alluring feature to the plant besides it’s bold, blue-green leaves is the beautiful ‘spiked’ blooms.
The hakea laurina begins its blooming cycle during December and by Autumn you will begin to notice the bulbous blooms that can grow as big as 5 cm wide with fine white hairs. It will begin to flower during April and producers long, thin, pretty little beige and white flowers.
The hakea laurina flowering buds look remarkable like a pin-cushion. Hence, it’s more common to name the hakea pincushion.
Some other names you may come across for this variety of hakea include:
- Sea Urchin
- Emu Bush
How to Grow Hakea Laurina
When it comes to growing hakea pincushion in your own garden, you’ll want to ensure you choose a good, sunny spot. Should you choose a spot with more shade, it will affect the number of flowers that bloom.
When it comes to soil, any form of soil will work as long as it is free of lime and has good drainage. Hakea’s are both drought and frost tolerant, but prefer cooler climates.
For younger plants, staking is encouraged especially as the hakea laurina is a fairly shallow rooted plant. When it comes to propagation, seed is the most reliable and effective way. However, propagation from a cutting is also possible.
How to Grow Hakea Pincushion From Seed
Growing from seed is by far the easiest and best way to grow hakea pincushion. You should collect seeds directly from the plant 12 months after flowering. Here’s how you can start growing your hakea from a seed:
- Simply remove a seed pod with a pair of gloves and secateurs. (Warning: seed pods may be a little prickly.)
- Place the seed pod into a paper bag and place onto your window sill in the sun. (Or place the seed pod in your oven at 180° for 10 minutes.)
- The heat will cause the seed pod to crack and reveal many small seeds inside.
- Pour the revealed seeds into a seedling tray with fresh potting mix.
- Be sure to keep the soil moist. Germination will take 2 to 3 months.
- Then, transplant into the ground or into a pot.
When transplanting, be sure to do so during Autumn or Winter.
Growing Hakea Laurina From a Cutting
This is not the most recommended way to propagate Hakea as it is far more difficult. Here’s how you can propagate hakea from a cutting should you want to:
- Use a grafting knife to remove a cutting of about 75-100mm in length.
- Carefully remove all leave from the lower 2/3 of the stem.
- ‘Wound’ the lower part of the stem by scraping off the bark with your grafting knife.
- Dip the base into rooting hormone and then plant into a seeding mix.
Rooting will take some time so be sure to keep an eye on your cutting and ensure the soil remains moist.
How to Take Care of Your Hakea Pincushion
While it’s a largely no-fuss fauna once transplanted into your garden, you will want to check up on your hakea every now and then.
It’s tough and resilient, so you won’t need to worry much during the change of season. Plus, it won’t require much fertilisation over its life-time. It is however recommended to add some slow-release fertiliser to the potting mix when planting – just to give it an additional little boost.
Be sure to choose a phosphorous-free fertiliser. After planting be sure to keep the soil around the base of your plant well mulched, especially during the growing seasons.
When it comes to watering your hakea, the major care will come as your plant is trying to germinate and during its first year of growth. Once your hakea is established in your garden, no un-natural watering is needed unless it is a particularly dry season.
Again, be sure the soil is well draining, as water logged roots may cause issues and prevent growth.
Pruning is such a vital part of plant care for most garden plants. It’s not only about regulating shape and size, but regular pruning will help to stimulate plant growth.
It is recommended to begin to prune your hakea regularly from when the plant is young. As the hakea laurina growth rate is quite quick, you can be quite rigorous.
Cut back at least10 to 15 cm from tip growth when pruning.
When it comes to the hakea laurina dwarf variety, you’ll want to prune only 8 to 10 cm from tip growth.
Hakea Laurina Problems and Pests
What makes the pin cushion hakea and dwarf hakea laurina variety such great plants for beginner growers is that it is largely pest and disease free.
Of course, you may come across your usual garden pests from time to time, but when it comes to hakea laurina problems, they really are few and far between.
What you should note is that the pin cushion hakea is a particularly shallow rooted plant, meaning that if being planted as screening or wind-barrier, you will want to make sure you stake it at the base.
Landscaping Application for the Hakea Laurina
Fast-growing, fuss-free and incredibly beautiful – there are so many reasons to plant pin cushion hakea or the hakea laurina dwarf variety in your garden.
The most common landscaping uses for the pin cushion hakea include:
- For Flower Beds
- For Borders
- As Hedging
- For Screening
If in your flower beds, we would recommend cultivating a dwarf hakea laurina variety.
Not only will the pin cushion hakea provide you with interesting blooms that attract birds, bees and butterflies to your garden – but, the hakea laurina is also particularly beneficial to your soil and will inhibit soil erosion.
Plus, during the flowering season, pin cushion hakea’s make particularly striking cut flowers.
Hakea Laurina Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hakea laurina native to Australia?
Hakea laurina is native to Australia. The pin-cushion Hakea is found throughout south-western Australia, but naturalises well in most warm climates. Hakea are suitable for nearly all tropical and Mediterranean climates, where drainage is good, but the soil retains minerals and nutrients.
How many species of Hakea are there in Australia?
Australia is the Hakea capital of the world by a long way, with over 150 species of Hakea found on our shores. The vast majority of Hakea species in Australia grow along the eastern coast, and in the south-west of Australia.
Is Hakea laurina fast growing?
Hakea laurina grows between 30-50 cm per year, after the second year. In its first year, it can be slow to start, but once the roots are settled into their patch of earth, the plant kicks off and needs regular pruning to maintain a neat looking flowering hedge.
What’s the difference between grevillea and Hakea?
Grevillea flowers are looser than Hakea, despite them being incredibly similar in structure, and having a close resemblance in form and leaf too. Hakea flowers tend to come in bolder, blockier colours, and they flower for slightly less time, though with more impact.
How tall does Hakea laurina grow?
Hakea laurina can grow up to 6m tall if it is allowed to develop naturally into a tree form but will be happy if you prune it every year in spring and winter to maintain a 2-3m tall hedge.
As well as growing tall, these plants can spread out up to 5m across, meaning you only need a few mature plants to create a full and generous hedge.
What are other names for Hakea laurina?
Hakea laurina is also called the Pincushion Hakea, a name it gets from its flowers. Pincushion Hakea flowers are round, with red centres, and covered in thin styles or stamens that are produced far out from the petals to create a dense pom pom.
Can you prune Hakea laurina?
Hakea laurina can be pruned harshly in spring and winter to limit and shape its growth into pretty much any form, but pruning is not essential. If left to its own devices, Hakea would become a gorgeous flowering tree.
Is Hakea laurina poisonous?
Hakea laurina is not toxic to humans or animals, but neither is it considered an edible plant. Its flowers have a very light fragrance and consumed in large quantities, the flowers and their nectar would cause mild stomach upsets.
But, Hakea laurina is safe for pets and humans and has no specific toxicity.
Is Hakea laurina frost tolerant?
Young Hakeas laurinas should be protected from frost, but once established they cope well with brief frosts, and even prolonged frosts at -5 to 0 degrees. New growth may show signs of frost damage, or rotting stems, so avoid autumn or winter pruning in cooler parts of the country.
How long does it take for Hakea laurina to flower?
Hakea laurina can take up to two years to begin flowering after planting in a new location. Like any plant, it takes time for roots to settle into a new home. The more you manage watering and irrigation in the first two years, the sooner it will flower, but don’t overwater!
Is Hakea laurina evergreen?
Hakea laurina can lose its leaves in exceptionally cold or windy winters, but it is generally an evergreen shrub or tree, and provides structural interest in the garden at any time of year.
Can you grow Hakea laurina in pots?
Hakea laurina like well-drained soil, but they also spread out quickly so if you do grow your Hakeas in pots, expect them to be slightly restricted and grow smaller and slower than usual.
That said, it’s still very much worth trying if you have a smaller garden and want the impact of these beautiful native plants in your own backyard.
Hakea Laurina | Growing + Care Guide Australia Summary
So, there you have it. Everything you’ll need to know to grow and care for your gorgeous pin cushion hakea or hakea laurina dwarf plant.
When it comes to hakea laurina problems, you won’t need to look out for much except keeping your soil well-draining and well-mulched. Be sure to consider staking your hakea if being used as a screening plant or if being planted anywhere with particularly strong winds.
More so, with the hakea laurina growth rate being so fast, and propagation particularly easy, you can have beautiful blooming hakea plants all around your garden.
For those with a green thumb, or those just starting out – planting hakea laurina, an eccentric and striking Australian native, is the easiest way to add a pop of colour and excitement to your garden.