Waratah is a popular Australian shrub, with its bright orange flowers appearing from March to May. The plant is native to Australia and grows best in USDA hardiness zones 5-11. Choose a spot with some afternoon shade and moist soil.
Planting waratah plants indoors is easy since they are not fussy about soil or light conditions. In fact, you can buy plants that are already prepared for indoor planting. However, you can also grow them outdoors if you have a sunny location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day from spring to autumn (warmer months).
If you live in an apartment or townhouse, then growing waratahs outdoors might be your best bet. Find a spot where the plant gets at least six hours of sunlight every day from spring through autumn (warmer months). It’s also best if this area is sheltered from strong winds that tend to blow away the foliage.
Water the Plants
Plants need adequate water to grow and thrive. Waratahs that are grown outside need at least 2 inches of rain per week, but the plants can tolerate partial or full shade. Waratahs should be watered every day for about 10 minutes during the warmer months or less frequently during winter. Since waratahs develop deep taproots, they can go a long time without water, but it’s best not to let them dry out completely.
Feed the Plants
Make sure to feed your plants once a week during the growing season. Use slow-release granular fertilizer or a liquid organic fertilizer that contains iron and nitrogen.
If you’re looking to grow waratahs outdoors in an area with six hours of sunlight, then you can use a water-soluble organic liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion instead of wate solubles fertilizers, which might burn the plants.
A word of warning: don’t over-fertilize, as this will cause excessive foliage growth and make it difficult for the roots to absorb nutrients. If you put more than one tablespoon of fertilizer into the soil, then water well and let it sit for at least 12 hours before planting.
Plant two or three waratah plants per pot because they typically grow to about 24 inches high and wide, and need space to spread out their leaves.
Plant the Waratah
Plant the waratahs in a hole that is at least twice as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. Fill in the hole with moist soil, then water the plant well. For outdoors, you should also mulch around the planting site to help retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing.
Although you can buy a pre-made pot for indoor use, it’s best to start with an outdoor plant so that it has plenty of time to establish its roots before winter sets in.
In order for your plants to survive, they need full sun exposure (six hours or more) and consistent watering. The plants need enough moisture so that their leaves are not drooping or shriveled up when they are wet but they don’t want too much water because this can lead to root rot. It’s important to remember never to let your plants sit in standing water because this will cause them to rot quickly.
Care Instructions for Waratah Plants
Waratahs require the same care as other cut flowers: they need plenty of sunlight, water, and fertilizer. They also need a lot of space to grow.
Waratah plants are tough and will endure drought conditions without any trouble. However, they do need lots of water when it is hot and dry outside in springtime. Keep the soil moist by using a drip irrigation system or spraying the leaves with water every few days.
Feel free to prune waratahs to keep them from spreading too much or becoming too tall (3-6 ft). If you live in a cold area where the temperature regularly dips below freezing at night, then you should use mulch around your plant for extra protection (not recommended for frost-prone areas). You can also dig up some sand or compost around your plant for added insulation. Waratahs are heavy feeders so make sure that you fertilize them regularly during summer months when it gets hot and dry outside. This will encourage blooming.
How to Grow Waratah from Cuttings
If you don’t have a sunny spot outdoors, then you can grow waratah plants indoors. Here’s how to do it:
Choose a sturdy plant that is at least 2 feet tall, 2-3 years old and has at least five healthy leaves on it. If your plant is smaller than this, then it might not thrive as successfully indoors.
Prepare the soil by mixing 1 part peat moss with 1 part potting soil and planting it in a 5-gallon container.
Cut off one of the bottom branches of the plant, about 4 inches below the soil level. Do not remove any more than this or you will stunt the growth of your plant. Place this branch in water for about an hour and place onto damp newspaper until it roots (a day or two). Now, place the cutting into a 5-gallon container filled with moistened sphagnum moss (about 3 inches high)
Keep the cuttings wrapped in moist sphagnum moss in a warm area and keep them watered until they sprout new leaves (a few days to weeks). When they start growing new leaves, then move them to a slightly drier location and water them every 1-2 days using distilled water or rainwater.
Propagation of Waratah Using Leaf Pieces
When you are ready to transplant your new plants, you’ll want to save some leaf pieces from your original plant. Just take off a few leaves and transfer them to the soil surrounding the roots. This will help make sure that the plant has enough water and nutrients.
If you live in an area where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much during the day, then this is a good time to start training your plants into their desired shape by cutting them back with pruning shears. It’s best to cut back 7-10 inches of stem at a time, but give yourself plenty of space as it can take months for your plants to grow a dense bush with full branches.
Waratahs can take up a lot of space in your garden, so to make the most out of your plants, we recommend you buy them from a local garden center or nursery. Here are some things to remember when purchasing and caring for your waratahs:
Water the plants every day
Feed the plants every two weeks
Plant the waratah in a well-draining soil
Care Instructions for Waratah Plants