If you want to add colour to your garden in winter, here’s the ideal Australian native flower for you. The silver princess gum tree produces gorgeous red flowers with contrasting yellow stamens from late winter to spring. It’s the perfect addition for native gardens, as it creates a striking look no matter where it’s planted.
To care for a Eucalyptus caesia silver princess (or the gum tree), it’s best to plant it in sandy loam or clay loam soil that drains well. It thrives most in temperate climates, but will still grow in a semi-arid environment. Just make sure it’s got full sun – the silver princess eucalyptus likes plenty of light! As for watering, keep soil moist while the plant is establishing itself; otherwise, water only during dry periods.
If you want to add a regal touch to your garden, look no further. Here’s how to grow a silver princess tree in your garden so you, too, can enjoy its royal shine.
The Silver Princess Eucalyptus
There are plenty of features that make the silver princess a unique native tree. Take its red flowers with yellow anthers, which blossom from winter to spring and grow as much as 4cm in size. Then there are the silvery-white stems that give it its weeping form. New foliage, meanwhile, grows in red, and its trunk bark breaks into peeling curls called ‘minni ritchi’.
The name ‘silver princess’ comes from the silver-white powder on its leaves, stems, and flower buds, which creates a shimmery effect.
The silver princess is native to Western Australia, where it’s also known as ‘Gungurru’. As for how tall it grows, these fast-growing plants can reach 6-8m, with a lifespan of 50-150 years. The blooms attract plenty of nectar-eating birds, as well as bees and other pollinators.
Eucalyptus caesia blossoms are perfect for bouquets, and are often cut for floral arrangements.
How To Grow Eucalyptus Caesia Silver Princess
You’re in luck – as a low-maintenance native plant, the silver princess can grow in most soils (sandy, clay, loamy, and even poor soil). Just make sure the ground drains well, since it doesn’t like wet feet.
It’s important to grow your silver princess somewhere sunny – it’s not very fond of shade.
Eucalyptus caesia will grow best in temperate to Mediterranean climates, in places with low humidity and rainfall. It will tolerate light frost.
Keep your silver princess eucalyptus out of the wind – it has shallow roots, so a strong breeze could uproot young plants. These native trees can grow fairly large, so place them somewhere they can spread and grow.
Note: Silver princess doesn’t make a great shade tree – it has an open growth habit, meaning it lets light filter through. It’s excellent as a feature or screen tree, however!
Planting Silver Princess Eucalyptus
Plant your eucalyptus silver princess during autumn or winter to take advantage of the growing season while it matures. This plant is best grown from a cutting or starter plant.
Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Gently remove your starter plant from its container and lower it into the ground. Backfill the hole and firm down the soil carefully. Water well to moisten the soil and help it settle.
There is a Eucalyptus caesia dwarf variety if you prefer growing the silver princess gum in a pot.
Silver Princess Care
Water well while the plant is establishing, particularly during the first summer. Once the tree matures, however, it is very drought-resistant. This plant will only require watering during extended dry periods.
Like most native plants, the silver princess does not need fertilising. It can thrive even in poor or acidic soil
Can you prune a silver princess? Yes – but with caution. Be careful while pruning since its weeping form is part of its iconic look, and trimming too much could change its silhouette. The trick is to only remove damaged growth, or to prune back any unruly foliage.
If you need help maintaining your silver princess – and other plants in your garden, native or otherwise – get a garden maintenance service to help out!