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Genus consisting of about eighty species of evergreen shrubs originating in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, most of which come from Australia; there are numerous cultivars, almost all of which are hybrid varieties of Leptospermum scoparium.
This shrub has erect stems, vertical, branched in a disorderly fashion, thin, woody, dark in color; the small leaves are of various shapes, from needle-like to lanceolate, up to oval or round and in the rotundifolia variety, they have a dark green color; in some species they are pubescent.
From May until the end of summer these shrubs produce small flowers with five petals, white, pink or red; some cultivars have double or stradoppi flowers.
The flowers are followed by fruits, roundish woody capsules, divided into five sectors, which persist on the plant for months.
THE leptospermum scoparium they reach two meters in height and are particularly suitable for cultivation in groups, to produce a striking patch of color during flowering.
These shrubs need to be planted in the sun or in partial shade; they develop without major problems even in the complete shade; they can withstand temperatures close to -7 ° C for short periods; for this reason it is therefore good to put them in a sheltered place and possibly cover them with tnt during the coldest months of the year. It may also be useful to place leaves or straw in the shelter of the roots and the stem so as to prevent the icy temperatures from ruining the plant.
For a correct development of the plant it is good to water regularly, from March until the first cold, avoiding to let the soil excessively dry between one watering and another. However, remembering to avoid stagnation of water that can be very dangerous for the well-being of the plant.
In the vegetative period it is good to supply fertilizer for flowering plants mixed with the water used for watering. After flowering, use a slow-release fertilizer that will guarantee the correct nutritional intake for the entire growing season.
Place the Leptospermum scoparium in a sandy, well-drained, slightly acid or neutral soil. These plants can also be grown in pots, but they should be repotted every two years, increasing the size of the container. These plants are quite resistant and adapt well to different types of soil, the important thing is that the soil allows proper drainage but also the maintenance of a right degree of humidity.
Sow in the spring, in a warm bed, keeping the soil moist; in summer it is possible to take semi-woody cuttings, which must be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts. The talles can be planted after a year of cultivation in a protected and sheltered environment, so that they may have strengthened and are ready to take root in the new land. Repotting will be performed at the beginning of spring.
Leptospermum scoparium: Pests and diseases
Generally these plants are not attacked by pests; but in conditions of poor drainage they can favor the onset of root rot. Some of the parasites that could affect the Leptospermum scoparium are the cochineal, in particular the floury one and the aphids. To counteract its effects it will be possible to use one of the many specific products available on the market that will carry out an effective insecticidal action.