Guitar plant is a shrub with beautiful summer blooming. Caring for it is rewarding and enjoyable. Here are the key tips for growing it.
General Guitar plant facts
Name – Lomatia tinctoria
Family – Proteaceae
Type – evergreen shrub
Height – 6 ½ feet (2 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – well-drained, acidic
Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – summer
Planting your guitar shrub
To ensure proper blooming, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your guitar plant is satisfied.
Planting a Guitar Plant shrub outdoors
This is a shrub that is easy to care for when grown outside. However, you must make sure drainage, exposure and soil type match its needs.
- Plant in spring for best settling in.
- Acidic soil will suit it best. Another key point is sandy soil, it’s recommended to ensure maximum drainage.
- A sun-filled spot is where it will bloom the strongest.
Guitar plant, when planted outdoors, is drought resistant up to a certain point.
- In case of severe drought, airborne parts will die off, but new shoots will appear when rains roll in.
- In the first two years after planting, though, water when dry because it takes a while for roots to spread.
- After that, you won’t have to water anymore.
Growing a potted Guitar plant
Since its root system is shallow, you can succeed in growing a guitar plant in a pot.
- Select a large-sized pot right from the start.
- This will spare you an early repotting and your guitar plant will feel right at home.
- Prepare a mix of heath soil and planting soil mix.
- Drainage is extremely important, so there must be a hole at the bottom for water to drain out. A layer of clay beads or gravel at the bottom of the pot can help, too.
Guitar plant propagation
- Roots travel underground and new sprouts shoot at the sides of the bush.
- Small risk of turning invasive if left completely unattended.
Seeds are also a very effective means of propagation.
- The flowers and seeds, however, are what have given the plant its name.
- Indeed, flowers are a bit guitar-shaped and seeds are encased in pods that ring hollow when dry!
- They pop open, project winged seeds to the winds.
- Seeds germinate easily without any preliminary preparation.
Lastly, cuttings will start easily, especially from branches that haven’t yet sprouted flowers.
- Read more on how to prepare cuttings
Guitar plant pruning and care
Pruning isn’t really needed, since the bush won’t grow any taller than two yards or meters of its own accord. A few snips of the shears, however, will make sure the plant grows into a wonderful, tight shape.
After blooming, remove wilted flowers to trigger new flowers.
Lastly, remove dead wood often and clear out inside branches. The goal is to let light penetrate to the center.
- This will result a nice, tight shape for your Guitar plant.
Check our video with expert guidance
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Watering your guitar plant
In pots, it’s important to water as soon as the soil is dry. Only water moderately, though, except if you have excellent drainage. In the growing season, add generic flower shrub fertilizer or ferment your own from weeds (warning, stinky in some cases!).
If your tree is growing outside in the ground, water in case of prolonged dry spells or heat waves during the first two years.
- After that, the shrub will do fine on its own.
- This is an ideal plant for xeriscaping!
Diseases often found on a Guitar plant
This Tasmanian shrub is usually immune to most diseases. The only risk is overwatering in case of improper drainage.
If the leaves start turning black, it’s often linked to excess watering. Reduce watering frequency and check that the soil drains well enough.
It is a great source of nourishment for moths and butterflies, too.
Companion planting for Guitar plants
Guitar plant will pair well with most of the plants for acidic soil.
However, since it needs a lot of sun, it’s best to keep it as the tallest plant in the flower bed.
- Plant to the side, and not right under, of camellia or rhododendron.
- Plant it with common heather, wintergreen or next to small Japanese azalea.
Learn more about the Guitar plant
Native to Tasmania, off the coast of Australia, it grows into a round, bushy shrub. The white or ivory-colored flowers form elegant panicles. They’re especially attractive, not only to insects but to garden lovers, too! They have a powerful, wafty scent that is pleasantly intriguing.
Leaves are amazingly intricate, fern-like and lush green in color. In this they’re similar to herbs such as dill and other flowers like cosmos. But the plant it most resembles is the Grevillea flower.
The latin name for this plant is Lomatia tinctoria. Though its native habitat is only the island of Tasmania, it is now grown and sold across the world for the enjoyment of many!
Smart tip about the guitar plant
The blooming and delicately-scented fragrance make it an ideal shrub for containers. Use this to decorate your patio or balcony!
Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Flowering guitar plant by jcorrie ★ under © CC BY-NC 4.0
Seed pods of the guitar plant by Geoffrey Derrin under © CC BY-SA 4.0
Guitar plant leafage by jcorrie ★ under © CC BY-NC 4.0