Banksia Information – Learn How To Grow Banksia Plants
What Is A Bank?
A bank is a type of evergreen shrub or small tree native to Australia, New Guinea and other parts of Southeast Asia. It grows up to 30 feet tall with a spread of 6-8 feet. They are often found along riversides and streams where they provide shade during hot summer months. They have no leaves but do produce flowers which bloom in spring, summer and fall.
Why Do People Want To Grow Banksia?
People want to grow banksia plants because they look pretty and it is a nice way to add some color into their yard. Some people like them because they make good houseplants. Others enjoy the idea of having a plant that looks different than all the others around them. There are many reasons why people would choose to grow a bank. One reason could be if you live in an area where there aren’t any trees and you need something to fill that space. Another reason might be if you just don’t like the look of your normal garden plants and want something different.
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Bank?
It takes anywhere between two weeks to one month before the first shoots appear from the soil. You can do this by placing the seeds in a moist, warm environment such as a bag with a paper towel inside of it. The seeds need darkness to germinate so don’t worry about putting them inside of a dark place.
What Does A Bank Plant Look Like?
A bank plant looks like a small shrub or a medium sized tree when fully grown. It usually has multiple stems and grows anywhere from 3 feet to 10 feet tall. It can also grow up to 8 feet wide but this is rare. It has tiny leaves that are less than an inch long. They can either be yellow, gray or green and they will change color as the plant gets older.
What Conditions Do Banks Like?
Banksias prefer living in places that offer full sun to partial shade. They also prefer to live in sandy or loamy soil that is moist most of the time but will tolerate places where the soil is clay based. They can live in either full sun or partial shade. They do not like standing in water.
Do Banks Need A Lot Of Care?
Banks do need a fair amount of care if you want them to grow big and beautiful. You will need to check the soil every week or so to see if it needs watered. Add mulch around the plant to help with added moisture and keep the weeds away. Deadhead any faded flowers as this will encourage it to produce more flowers during the growing season. You can prune the plant anytime but spring is the best time to do it.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Bank?
On average a banks will live between 10-15 years but it is not uncommon for them to live 20-30 years or more when provided with the right conditions and care.
Can You Plant A Bank?
You can plant a bank but this isn’t recommended as they grow best when they are planted by nature. If you do plant one yourself then it is best to take the seedling or sapling from an area that your plant is already thriving in. It is also best to wait until the plant is at least 1-2 years old before you attempt to transplant it.
Do Banks Ever Have Any Problems?
The main problems that banksias have is getting too much water or too little. They also don’t like having their roots disturbed so if you do need to move them then it is best to do this as slowly as possible. The other main problem that they have is getting eaten by caterpillars and other insects. If this does happen then you can use a pesticide on the plant.
What Is A Similar Plant To A Bank?
A similar plant to the banksia is the callistemon. This looks very much like a bottlebrush when it flowers. These are both found in Australia and New Zealand so they do like living in similar conditions. They are easy to grow from seed and will grow as a small shrub or small tree. You can prune them to keep them smaller if need be.
A convineint tree lke the banksia is the tea tree. This is a tree that grows naturally in Australia. It grows between 15 and 20 feet tall and 15 and 25 feet wide but it can be kept smaller through trimming and shearing.
It has small yellow flowers that are bell shaped that cover the whole tree. These flowers give off a pleasant smell. The oil from these flowers can be used for a variety of things. It can be used as ant repellent, as a mosquito repellent and even as a cleaning agent. You should be able to grow the tree in most climates but it prefers living near the coast.
What Pests Or Diseases Do Banks Get?
Banks are prone to a few different types of disease and pest but they are not common. The main pests that they get are psyllids, aphids, and scale. You can treat these with pesticides or you can simply wash them off or use a strong jet of water to remove them from the plant completely. You can also remove affected leaves when these pests are present.
This plant also has a few different diseases that can affect it but these are not very common either. The main diseases that effect this plant are bacteria rot, leaf spot, and die back. You can treat these using pesticides or you can remove the infected parts of the plant.
You can also grow them from cuttings. This is when you take a cutting from the plant, let it root and then plant it in soil.
The last way that you can grow these plants is from seed. To do this, you will need to soak the seeds before you plant them. You will then need to keep them at a temperature between 60 and 80 degrees.
Germination can take up to 6 weeks.
Then once they are fully grown you can either plant them out in the ground or keep them in their pots for a few more weeks to let them strengthen their roots. You can then plant them in the ground.
If you want to grow these plants indoors you will need to know how to treat their various problems.
How To Get Rid Of Banksia Scales
These insects love feeding on the banksias so you will need to get rid of them before they do too much damage.
Sources & references used in this article:
Climate change, plant migration, and range collapse in a global biodiversity hotspot: the Banksia (Proteaceae) of Western Australia by MC Fitzpatrick, AD Gove, NJ Sanders… – Global Change …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
Application of the ecosystem mimic concept to the species-rich Banksia woodlands of Western Australia by JS Pate, TL Bell – Agroforestry Systems, 1999 – Springer
Sources and consequences of seed mass variation in Banksia marginata (Proteaceae) by G Vaughton, M Ramsey – Journal of Ecology, 1998 – Wiley Online Library
Does restored plant diversity play a role in the reproductive functionality of Banksia populations? by AL Ritchie, PG Nevill, EA Sinclair… – Restoration …, 2017 – Wiley Online Library
Seasonal Water Acquisition and Redistribution in the Australian Woody Phreatophyte, Banksia prionotes by SSO BURGESS, JS PATE, MA ADAMS… – Annals of …, 2000 – academic.oup.com
Coexistence of Banksia species in southwestern Australia: the role of regional and local processes by DM Richardson, RM Cowling… – Journal of …, 1995 – Wiley Online Library
Banksia species (Proteaceae) from severely phosphorus‐impoverished soils exhibit extreme efficiency in the use and re‐mobilization of phosphorus by MD Denton, EJ Veneklaas, FM Freimoser… – Plant, Cell & …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library
Climate‐Dependent Heat‐Triggered Opening Mechanism of Banksia Seed Pods by JC Huss, V Schoeppler, DJ Merritt, C Best… – Advanced …, 2018 – Wiley Online Library
The survival and population response to frequent fires of two woody resprouters Banksia serrata and Isopogon anemonifolius by RA Bradstock, PJ Myerscough – Australian Journal of Botany, 1988 – CSIRO