Leptospermum scoparium

Plant of the month: July

Leptospermum scoparium belongs to the Myrtaceae family of shrubs, and can be found on the Loudon Terrace.

This gorgeous evergreen shrub with small aromatic leaves comes from New Zealand. It is commonly known as the Manuka or Tea Tree from which Manuka honey is produced. When the shrub is in full flower and it is smothered with small white rose like flowers – you can hear it buzzing with the honey bees!

Manuka honey is famed for its potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and as such, carries a hefty price tag.

Whilst establishing itself, the shrub is best planted in a sheltered site, facing South or West, where the soil is moist. It can also be less hardy in its first few years so some winter protection is advisable, after its fifth year it should be hardy to minus 5° C.

It flowers from June to July with maybe a second flush in the autumn. The shrub may reach 4m in height and needs no formal pruning.