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Leptospermum polygalifolium ‘Copper Glow’ – Australian Gardening Guide

Leptospermum copper glow is a tea tree with stunning bronze-green coloured foliage. The evergreen native also produces spectacular blooms of beautiful white flowers in spring. 

They make outstanding native feature shrubs for hedging. This hardy Leptospermum is drought tolerant, simple to grow and care for. It is also a good option for coastal gardens. 

This gardening guide is packed full of information on how to grow and care for Leptospermum polygalifolium Copper Glow.


Botanical name:

Leptospermum polygalifolium 'Copper Glow'

Botanical family:


Leptospermum Copper Glow

Leptospermum is a genus of shrubs and small trees commonly known as tea trees. Early Australian settlers soaked Leptospermum leaves in boiling water to make a tea substitute, hence the name.

There are many species and named varieties of these fast-growing shrubs. They typically have small leaves and white, pink, or red flowers that bloom in spring or summer. Some of the most widely cultivated species are the Coastal tea tree, Port Jackson tea tree and Lemon-scented tea tree. 

One of the prettiest tea trees for Australian gardens is Leptospermum polygalifolium which is a species of the Myrtaceae or Myrtle family. This Leptospermum polygalifolium cultivar is commonly known as Copper Glow, due to the colour of the foliage. 

Leptospermum Copper Glow is a quick-growing, large, evergreen shrub or small tree which grows to a height of 2-3m and can spread up to 2m wide at maturity.  

The stunning tea tree has native has small narrow copper-green coloured foliage. This colour is more prominent on the upper surface and slightly paler beneath. In spring the plant produces beautiful cream-white flowers. 

Once established, Leptospermum Copper Glow are heat and drought-tolerant plants. These hardy natives can also withstand light frost and coastal conditions. 

The best soil for Leptospermum copper glow

Leptospermum polygalifolium can grow well in most soil types and being natives are used to low nutrient Australian soils. The soil should be well-drained and a light, loose sandy soil is ideal. 

Where to position Leptospermum in your garden

Leptospermum Copper Glow should be planted in a spot of the garden where it will get full sun. This native shrub will also tolerate being planted in a semi-shaded position. Avoid damp areas of the garden in deep shade. 

The copper-coloured foliage of this native shrub contrasts nicely with the typical deeper greens of other plants in the garden. Leptospermum Copper Glow is often used as a flowering hedge or screening plant. 

They are hardy plants and will tolerate most soil types, if they are well-draining, making them a great option for many Australian gardens. Copper Glow tea trees are a popular choice in coastal areas.

How to grow and care for Leptospermum Copper Glow

Leptospermum polygalifolium Copper Glow is a tough, hardy plant and will be a low maintenance addition to your garden. Until the plant becomes established in your garden, you will need to water the tea tree regularly. After about 3 months you can dial back watering in accordance with weather conditions. 

Copper Glow Leptospermum are drought tolerant plants and have low water requirements. Water the tea tree during extended hot, dry periods but otherwise rainfall should be sufficient to keep this Leptospermum plant happy. Mulch around the shrub to maintain soil moisture. This will also help with weeds 

These native plants can grow quite happily in poor soil so don’t need lots of fertiliser to thrive. To help flowering you can add some all-purpose Australian native plant fertiliser in spring. Avoid fertilisers with lots of nitrogen as this will result in excessive tip growth and impact flowering.

Leptospermum Copper Glow will benefit from pruning to ensure they are kept tidy and shaped. Trim back the tea tree after it has finished flowering. The native shrub will also tolerate more severe pruning if required or if you are trying to form a hedge. 

These native tea tree plants are normally problem-free and are not typically impacted by pests and diseases.

When does Leptospermum copper glow flowers?

This Leptospermum cultivar flowers for an extended period from spring. 

It produces attractive cream-white flowers which contrast beautifully with the copper foliage. The five-petalled flowers are typically around 1.5-2 cm in diameter.  

The flowers are full of nectar and will attract honeyeaters and native animals to the garden. 

Now you know how to grow Leptospermum

Leptospermum polygalifolium Copper Glow is a great choice of native plant for many Australian gardens. The evergreen shrub will thrive with lots of sun when planted in well-draining soil.  

The tea tree has low water requirements and is easy to maintain. Semi-regular tip pruning will keep the shrub in shape. If needed, an annual feed of slow-release native fertiliser should keep the plant healthy and happy.

This native will produce a stunning display of white flowers in spring and makes a great choice for gardeners looking for a coastal shrub or hardy feature plant

If you have any questions about how to grow Leptospermum Copper Glow let us know. 

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Gary Clarke

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