Dwarf Tea Bush

BOTANICAL NAME:  Leptospermum scoparium ‘Cherry Brandy’
COMMON NAME:  Dwarf Tea Bush

DESCRIPTION:  A low-growing evergreen shrub with tiny maroon to purple leaves on compact branches.  During late winter and early spring, small single cherry red flowers are densely packed on the bushes.  They attain a mature height of little over a metre and have a rounded growth habit.

CULTURAL INFORMATION:  Full sun and well-drained soil are essential for happy tea bush plants.  They are phosphate intolerant, so no fertilisers must be added to planting holes.  Well rotted compost is suitable for enriching the soil.  Ensure that newly transplanted tea bushes are kept well watered.  If they dry out badly, they die.  Plants with brown leaves are already dead once the symptoms appear.  They are easy to grow, once established, requiring little attention.  Prune back lightly after flowering is complete.  They are moderately cold and frost hardy.

GARDEN USES:  Dwarf tea bushes are ideal for large rock gardens where soil is well-drained.  They make good filler shrubs for borders or shrubberies.  They can even be planted en-masse as a groundcover in larger gardens or landscapes.  Foliage and flowers are used in floral arrangements.