The grevillea long john is one of the most popular if not the most popular variety. Unfortunately, they are quite rare because they are difficult to propagate. Thus, only a few luck people are able to enjoy their beautiful pink flowers.
That said, it is their showy blooms that make them desirable. And, when available, people will take advantage of them and use them in cut flower arrangements.
In addition to the lovely pink clusters thy can add to your garden, they are likewise very attracting to birds, bees and butterflies.
Grevillea long johns are tall evergreen shrubs that grow to between 10 and 15 feet. They also cover 10 to 15 feet in breadth. They are likewise fast growers. Thus, making them perfect for privacy screens or hedges.
They are adorned with dark green leaves. But, the main attraction are bunches of light pink and red flowers.
Because they are drought tolerate, they are perfect for water saving gardens and xeriscaping, which you can do in your patio, front or backyard.
Grevillea Long John Plant Care
Grevillea Long John Light
As with many grevillea varieties, the Long John enjoys full sun. This means that it thrives best when you give it at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight daily. It is important that the 6 hours is a minimum. And, the plan would be more than happy if it received more than that.
Thus, the best spot in your garden for this plant is one facing the south. Due to its size, it isn’t well-suited indoors unless you have a very high ceiling to accommodate its height.
Similarly, it will likewise do well in west and east facing sides where there will be enough sunlight through the day to keep it happy.
That said, it is worth noting that the plant can grow in partial shade as well. But, if you decide to put it there make sure to monitor its growth and flowers. Lack of light will slow its growth and make its light pink flowers less vibrant.
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Grevillea Long John Temperature & Humidity
Grevillea long johns like sunny, warm weather. They are likewise used to humid environments. But, unlike many plants that are tropical in nature, they are somewhat more resilient to the cold.
These beautiful flowering shrubs are hardy down to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Their resilience allows you to grow them in USDA zones 9 through 12, with zones 9 and 10 being the ideal conditions for them.
Because they are native to warm regions, long johns are likewise drought tolerant.
Watering Grevillea Long John
The long john grevillea does not need a lot of water. They are native to the tropical regions of Australia and Southeast Asia which warm to very hot weather all year round. As such, they have adjusted to these conditions. And, to a degree is have made them tougher.
This toughness is beneficial to gardeners because it has made the plant low maintenance. And, this is the case with water.
Grevillea long johns prefer dryer environments to wet ones. They can take desert type conditions, don’t mind if you miss watering them every so often, and are perfect for xeriscaping.
That said, they do need a little bit more water during the hottest months of the year in the summer. During this time, watering them once a week is sufficient. And, come wintertime, you can scale back considerably.
The only exception to its low watering needs is for young grevillea long john plants. Because they’re growing, they need a good amount of water.
However, once they’re established, you don’t have to water them regularly.
Because of where they come from long john grevillea plants like loamy and sandy soil. It also grows better in slightly acidic soil (pH of 6.1 to 6.5). But, overall, they aren’t too picky about it. The only thing they need when it comes to soil is that it is well-draining.
This is crucial because the long john does not like sitting in water. And, allowing it to do so will lead to root rot. So, it is very important that you don’t overwater the plant.
As with water, the grevillea long john isn’t too fussy about fertilizer either. It will be happy as long as you feed it during its spring and summer growing season. Make sure to stop doing so in the fall and winter when the plant is at “rest”.
However, just like water, there is one very important rule to follow when fertilizing your grevillea long john. That is, use a product that has low phosphorus. You can likewise opt for no phosphorus at all.
Grevillea Long John Pruning
Long john grevilleas are fast growers. And, together with their height and size, this evergreen shrub is perfect as a natural wall or screen for privacy from your neighbors. It is likewise “friendly” to other plants so you can grow it alongside trees and other shrubs.
As such, when it comes to pruning, it will need regular trimming. This keeps it from getting too bushy or thick. Cutting it back also allows you to control its size, shape and looks.
And, while you’re doing so trim off the old, dying, dead and discolored flowers as well. This will help spur new growth to make your plant look more beautiful.
Grevillea Long John Propagation
Image from Pinterest
As beautiful as the grevillea long john is, it is likewise rare, which is unfortunate. The biggest reason for this is that the plant is very difficult to propagate. While it can be propagated via stem cuttings, it doesn’t cooperate as well as many houseplants do.
Like many other grevillea plants, the long john is lovely to look at but not something you’d want to touch. That’s because doing so can trigger allergic reactions or irritate your skin.
As such, it is important to keep it somewhere in the garden where the kids and pets stay far from it.
Be cautious with these plants, because many grevilleas cause allergic contact dermatitis and skin irritation, while the fruits and flowers of G. robusta, for example, contain toxic hydrogen cyanide.
Pests and Diseases
Grevillea long johns are pretty much free of pests and diseases. Again, this is just one of the features that make it a low maintenance plant.