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The Perfect Winter-Blooming Groundcover

Grevillea ‘Coastal Gem’ is a wonderful addition to a Mediterranean or drought tolerant garden. The plant originates in Australia and is a winter bloomer in the Bay Area. ‘Coastal Gem’ does have an exceptionally long bloom period from late summer until spring, providing some fall and winter brightness to your garden.

Grevilleas are part of the Protea family (Proteaceae). It is one of the oldest plant families, dating back 300 million years! Proteaceae contains plants such as Banksia, Protea, Hakea, Leucodendron, Leucospermum, and Macadamia, among many others. Most of the plants are from the Mediterranean regions of Australia, South Africa, or South America.

The Grevillea genus is a large one. They range in size from ground-covers to large shrubs and trees. The flowers are also variable but characteristically do not have petals – they have a long calyx with colorful filaments projecting out from the blooms.

The ‘Coastal Gem’ Grevillea is perfect for covering areas at the front of borders, in rock gardens, or tumbling over retaining walls. The branches arch slightly as they grow horizontally. The plant produces a profusion of unusual spider-shaped flowers that are a soft cream and pink color. They bloom along the stems of short, thin-leaved foliage, which is an attractive gray-green color.

Plant with other members of the Protea family for a colorful and exotic landscape. You can also mix them with California natives, such as Ceanothus, who like the same conditions. These plants require excellent drainage, so planting them in raised beds or containers will enable them to thrive here in the Bay Area, where our soil is heavy clay in many regions. ‘Coastal Gem,’ as its name suggests, will also thrive near the ocean where sandy soils provide the excellent drainage it needs.

USDA Zone: 9


 

Planting and Care for Grevillea

  • Prefers full sun to light shade.
  • Plant in well-drained soils.
  • Place in containers, rock gardens, or raised beds to ensure good drainage.
  • Prefers neutral to acidic soil.
  • Amend clay soils with E.B. Stone Organics Azalea Planting Mix.
  • Prefers deep, infrequent watering.