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Metrosideros Carmineus, fun blooms (especially the Ferris Wheel)


Beautiful with unique flowers, Metrosideros carmineus is an interesting summer shrub.

Key Metrosideros shrub facts

NameM. carmineus, M. carminea
Family – Myrtaceae
Type – shrub

Height: 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 m)
‘Ferris Wheel’ variety: 3 feet (1 m)
Exposure: full sun

Soil: ordinary  –  Foliage: evergreen  –  Flowering: end spring → mid-summer

It’s also nice during the rest of the year thanks to its evergreen foliage.

Planting Metrosideros carminea

Planting recommended directly in the ground in spring in warm coastal climates.

Its hardiness isn’t very good: it won’t survive temperatures lower than 28°F (-2°C).

Elsewhere, best plant in containers so you can bring them in for winter.

Pruning and Metrosideros care

Metrosideros is a short shrub with surprising flowersThis tree is relatively easy to care for. Indeed, Metrosideros is more afraid of the cold than it is of drought.

It isn’t necessary to prune it, but you can go ahead and shape your Ferris wheel plant into a hedge or into topiary shapes.

Wait for the end of the blooming to balance out the branches so you don’t miss out on those surprising flowers!

Learn more about Metrosideros carmineus

This shrub offers remarkable blooming with its flowers that boast bright red stamens. It’s native to New Zealand, but is now quite easy to find in garden stores. It’s a close relative of common myrtle found natively in the Americas.

There are several varieties of interest: ‘Ferris Wheel’, ‘Carousel’, and ‘Red Baby’.

  • ‘Ferris Wheel’: this is the most successful variety by far. It is a dwarf variety that won’t grow any taller than 3 feet or 1 m. Good for container growing.
  • ‘Carousel’ has beautiful ivory-rimmed leaves, it has nice variegation.
  • Red Baby’ is a  semi-dwarf variety, growing up to 6 feet or 2 m.

All are very ornamental and easy to care for. They’re perfectly suited to lean-ins or cold greenhouses.

Read also:

Smart tip about Metrosideros carmineus

Keep the soil moist by watering often, but not too much when the soil is dry.

Images: 123RF: Meininger; Public Domain: Peter de Lange
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  • Lisa Donnelly wrote on 13 July 2023 at 22 h 32 min

    RE : Metrosideros Carmineus, Ferris wheel , you say it grows 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters)? Other sites are saying it is a compact shrub variety of Metrosideros and only grows 1 Metre tall ? Is your info correct?

    • Gaspard wrote on 14 July 2023 at 3 h 04 min

      Hello Lisa, you’re right that the article was confusing. Practically, it’s about all Metrosideros carmineus shrubs, and the Ferris Wheel is the most famous variety. I rewrote the portions that were conflating the two. I hope it’s clearer now. Thanks a lot for your feedback, it’s very helpful.