When it comes to gardens, we know how much of a visual impact flowers can have. Cascades of them instantly bring an outdoor space to life with colour. You can fill up a small garden with shrubs and groundcover, but for those with more space to give, there’s nothing like flowering trees.
Surprisingly, there are varieties for every season. These will all fit right into any garden, whether it be smaller varieties for limited space or full-grown trees for those gorgeous flower clusters. Here are some of the top flowering trees in Australia to grow in your garden to add brightness and colour, no matter what time of year.
This is one of the best times for flowering trees as they emerge from their winter hibernation to come out in full bloom. It’s breathtaking, watching a garden come to life with spring flowers. (Just be prepared if you get hay fever!) If you want to take advantage of this season, here are some trees you should plant:
1. Golden Chain Tree
These are fairly short trees, reaching 5-7m in height. Their golden blooms are reminiscent of wisteria and begin to emerge in early spring, trailing down in gorgeous clusters. Golden Chain trees are deciduous, so they’ll thrive even in regular garden soil with full sun. They’ll tolerate frost well, and even need a chilly winter to develop. Start your spring by snapping a photo while the flowers drape around you – the perfect way to welcome a new year.
2. Crabapple Trees
A flowering crabapple tree will attract bees to your garden in early spring (which is good – bees are wonderful creatures!) with its bunches of blossoms. They come in a range of gorgeous colours, from deep pink to vivid red to white.
Depending on the variety, this deciduous tree can grow from 3-6m. It tolerates frost and drought, but make sure the ground drains well, and give it a layer of mulch to help it along.
3. Jacaranda Trees
Jacarandas are not for small gardens, growing up to 15m in height. These flowering trees burst into beautiful lilac bloom in mid-October up to November. Beyond their flowers, they’re excellent shade trees in summer, and their leaves are a gorgeous yellow spray in autumn, so they’re perfect for a photo year-round.
If you have the space, plant these in rich, well-drained soil with plenty of sun, but out of the wind. Water and mulch regularly, but don’t prune! Jacarandas thrive best in warmer or more temperate climates, and they look equally beautiful whether lining a street or sitting in your backyard.
4. Cherry Blossom Trees
The sight of a flowering cherry tree is an iconic symbol of Japan, but you can have them here down under too! It thrives in temperate climates, with cold winters and mild summers. Plant a cherry tree somewhere sunny, in deep well-drained earth – and make sure to choose a size and species appropriate for your yard!
There are even varieties that grow as short as 3m, perfect for smaller gardens. Water and fertilise regularly, and be rewarded with that brief but breathtaking display of spring flowers so beloved around the globe.
5. Dogwood Trees
More popular further south, where it thrives in cold winters and warm summers, flowering dogwoods are excellent aesthetic choices for a small yard. These deciduous trees grow to only 5m tall (but fairly wide!) and blossom in shades of white, pink, or red. The leaves run a beautiful scarlet on its branches in autumn.
A dogwood tree will thrive in regular garden soil so long as it drains well, and only water when it isn’t raining. Keep it in the sun to fully enjoy their flower clusters in early spring.
There’s an eerie sort of beauty to wisteria flowers trickling down from spindly branches. These pink flowering trees (or yellow, or lilac, or even white) add a touch of fantasy to a garden, especially when they bloom in spring. They’re slow to establish, sometimes taking years to start flowering, but the display of beautiful hanging flowers is worth it.
Grow wisteria where the weather is cool (or mildly tropical), in full sun and moist earth. Fertilise the ground before planting. Water when dry, and prune mostly when young and developing. And make sure they have good support – those branches and blooms can get heavy!
Even the Aussie heat won’t deter these trees from flowering under the bright summer sun. If you want both shade and stunning flowers, any of these trees will be perfect for your yard. Just remember to water them well while it’s hot out, and keep an eye on the ground to make sure it doesn’t go too dry!
1. Crepe Myrtle Trees
If you thought no trees flower in high summer, think again. The crepe-like blossoms of crepe myrtles come into full bloom through January and February, adding bursts of mauve and red to the hottest season. The Indian Summer line is particularly suited to a humid Australian summer. There are compact varieties that grow to just 3m, or taller ones that reach 6m, perfect for any size of garden.
Plant a crepe myrtle tree in well-draining soil with full sun, prune in winter, and water generously while it’s young. They also display a beautiful red-and-orange leaf colour in autumn, and a sleek silhouette of branches in winter, making them an elegant addition to any landscape.
2. Ivory Curl Trees
These are stunning in full bloom, although be mindful of hay fever when the flowers wilt and fall. Their long, cream-coloured blossoms resemble tassels, and curl out from branches and leaves for a classy display. Ivory curl is an Australian native tree, making it well-suited to warm climates, although they’ll also tolerate mild frost.
These plants will do well in regular earth, but top with plenty of organic matter and ensure good drainage. Keep in full sun to partial shade, since after they’re established, they’re fairly drought-tolerant. As for height – the warmer the climate, the taller your tree!
3. Cape Chestnut Trees
Cape Chestnuts are slow-growing evergreens that can reach a height of 12m, so they’re not for limited space! But they’re perfect for summer flowers, with their clusters of pink blossoms brightening up any street. Their branches grow wide, so they make excellent shade trees too.
They’ll adapt to most soil types as long as there’s good drainage – just make sure to keep the ground moist and well-mulched. There’s only one species, but it tolerates frost well as it ages, and it can even grow along the coast as long as it’s out of the wind!
This season is for more than just that iconic autumn leaf colour – you can have flowers, too! As if autumn wasn’t vivid enough, add a flowering tree to your garden to add depth to the landscape – and to get a good photo for keeps.
1. Evergreen Magnolia Trees
Also known as ‘Southern Magnolia’ or ‘Bull Bay Magnolia’, these evergreen trees start flowering in summer, but they’ll have blossoms all the way to early autumn. Magnolias are not for small gardens; they can grow up to 10m high and 5m wide, with lightly-scented flowers in cream and white (that sometimes grow up to 30cm wide!).
They thrive best when planted deep in free-draining soil, with plenty of organic matter but little grass. Plant in full sun and don’t prune – and keep it out of the wind!
Winter might feel cold and drab, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have colour! Nature is a wonderful thing, because even in the barest season, you can have flowers brightening up your garden. Cheer yourself up while tucked up warm indoors with a hot cup of tea and a view of some gorgeous blossoms.
1. Forsythia Trees
You’ll know them better in spring, but forsythia bursts into bloom starting late winter, even with the weather still cold and nothing else emerging. These go-getter flowers need a cold winter to best produce their stunning yellow blossoms.
Fortunately, they’re otherwise low-maintenance, thriving in any type of soil as long as it’s well-mulched. Keep them in full sun and let them grow to their full 3m height, bringing you the golden flowers that herald the start of spring.
2. Wattle Trees
That’s right – you can plant the national floral emblem right in your garden. In full blossom, its gold clusters look absolutely stunning. A wattle tree grows easily and quickly, and produces plentiful flowers – just make sure you get the species that grows in winter, not spring! These are great to grow because they restore nitrogen to the earth, and their blossoms and branches offer winter shelter to animals.
Wattles will grow well in sunny to slightly shady spots, and can tolerate extreme weather. Water regularly while young, but when they’re established, they’ll only need a boost when the weather is dry. Prune lightly and mulch away from the trunk, then simply wait to enjoy the fluffy yellow blossoms burst into life.
When caring for trees – flowering or otherwise – it’s important to ensure good ground drainage to prevent any root damage, and to give them plenty of sun. Check with a gardening professional if a tree needs regular pruning (some don’t!), and use a good mulch to help its growth along. It’s also worth checking the zones in which a flowering tree will thrive, to make sure you’re getting one appropriate for your climate. Beyond that, simply let them grow and enjoy any of these flowering trees in Australia – right in your garden.