Leptospermum: Home Care, Transplanting And Propagation

Such a plant as leptospermum is directly related to the genus Leptospermum, and also to the myrtle family. In nature it can be found in southeastern Australia and New Zealand. From Latin the name of the genus itself literally translated as "thin seeded". Therefore, a large number of florists know this plant as thin-seeded broom (panicle). Also this plant is called New Zealand tea tree or manuka.

Leptospermum panicum is an evergreen shrub, from which with regular pruning can form a compact tree. It is characterized by dense branching, small lanceolate shaped leaves with an acuminate bent tip, with which the shoots are densely covered. Blooms are abundant. Terry or simple leptospermum flowers can reach 1 cm in diameter and be colored pink, white or red. The foliage contains a large amount of essential oils.

If it is damaged, there will be a strong lemon aroma in the room. In southern areas with mild winters (not below five) this plant is cultivated in gardens and is considered quite undemanding. However, if it is grown in room conditions, certain rules must be followed, or else the shrub will die.

Brief description of cultivation

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

  1. Temperature. In spring and summer, keep in a cool atmosphere - temperatures may be 15 to 20°C during the daytime hours with a decrease during the nighttime hours.

    The dormancy period should be in fairly cool conditions, at about 7 - 10°C.

  2. Lighting.Possible shading on the hottest days, otherwise direct sunlight may reach the plants.
  3. Watering and Humidity.Evigorous but fairly infrequent watering in spring and summer, drying the soil several centimetres deep between waterings.

    In autumn and winter, water to a minimum. Humidity does not need to be increased.

  4. Trimming. Moderate formative pruning - cardinal pruning is not tolerated by leptospermum. When sanitary pruning, remove only old stems.

  5. Soil. Very loose, allowing the roots to breathe and nourishing the plants. Leptospermum likes acidic soil.
  6. Feeding.Liquid mineral fertilizer every 2 weeks, only during growth.

    Do not feed the flower during the dormant period.

  7. Propagation.Rather easily propagated by rooting stem cuttings and sowing seeds.

Leptospermum/Manuka. Leptospermum.

Peculiarities of keeping in room conditions.

Home care of Leptospermum

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation


It is a light loving plant that needs a light level of about 6000-7800 lx for normal development and growth. During the warm season it can be taken outside where it will feel fine even under direct sunlight. However, the soil in the pot should not be allowed to overheat. If the plant does not have enough light and extra light it may lose some or all of its leaves.


Apropriate soil must be slightly acidic or sour. To prepare it yourself at home you must combine turf soil, humus, peat and sand in a 2 (3):1:1:1 ratio. A commercial mixture made for heather, azaleas and rhododendrons can also be used.


Fertilize the plant twice a month during intensive growth. A weak solution of azalea fertilizer should be used, but if you use the dosage recommended on the package, the root system will most likely burn up.

How to water

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

This is a very demanding plant to water. Under no circumstances should either the substrate be allowed to dry out, or water stagnate in it. So, if the root ball dries out completely, leptospermum die within a few hours. If the substrate will stagnate liquid, then the roots can begin to rot quite quickly. The best humidity is when the soil inside the pot is wet enough, and its upper layer is a little dried up.

For watering, use soft water. Thus, a little citric acid (just like for azaleas) is recommended for hard water.


Needs increased humidity in both warm and cold seasons. Therefore, systematic spraying is recommended.


The plant has no special temperature requirements in summer.

In winter it should be moved to a quite cool (4-10 degrees) and light place.


Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

Trimming does not harm the plant. With regular trimming, any shape of crown can be formed. But it is important to remember that the buds will form on the young shoots (of the current year) and that if you trim deeply, flowering may not occur. Experienced florists recommend this procedure either before the beginning of intensive growth or at the end of flowering.

Leptospermum or manuka pruning

Leptospermum transplanting

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

Transplanting should be done rather gently. Transplanting is recommended. The root system of Leptospermum is highly undesirable to disturb. Even if it is grown in bonsai culture, pruning the roots should be carried out as rarely as possible and cut them only slightly. From loosening the soil experts also advise to refrain.

This is because the roots are close to the ground and can get damaged.


Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

If you take care of the plant properly and place it in proper conditions, it will bloom for 2 to 3 months. At the same time, it is observed in the spring-summer period. If the flowering is early, it is usually over by the beginning of the summer period. In this case, it is quite possible that the tree will bloom again in winter, but the flowering will be weak.

This plant is self-pollinated and when it blossoms, rather hard seed bolls appear that mature throughout the year.

Leptospermum blooms/Leptospermum/ Tonkospermum/Manuka

Leptospermum propagation

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

It can be propagated in July by cutting green cuttings. If you use special substances that stimulate root growth, rooting will be greatly accelerated (2 to 3 weeks).

Seeding can be done throughout the year. The container should be covered with glass.

The seedlings appear relatively quickly. Once the semidolent leaves are formed, the seedlings are suspended in growth for 14-20 days. At this time, most of them tend to die. A tree grown this way does not bloom until five to six years after sowing.

Diseases and pests

The most common one is spider mite.

As a preventive measure, it is recommended to treat the plant from time to time with Fytoverm or another agent of similar action.

Leptospermum species with photos

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

Leptospermum panicum (Leptospermum scoparium) is very popular, Leptospermum rotundifolium, Leptospermum minutifolium or Leptospermum grandiflorum are also available if desired.

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

Tips for buying an adult Leptospermum

Leptospermum: home care, transplanting and propagation

When in a flower store, the first thing you will need to do is carefully inspect the leaves. It very often happens that a flower is sold with completely withered leaves. A live, healthy leaf has a glossy appearance, while the one that has withered away is matte.

And you should also pay attention to the branches of this shrub. Healthy young branches have an ebb of red color. In the case if the branches have already dried up, they will have a gray tint. In no case do not buy a withered leptospermum. The fact is, you cannot bring it back to life, no matter how hard you try.

Very important! Leptospermum panicum (Manuka, New Zealand tea tree) and Malaleuca (Australian tea tree) look very similar but are completely different plants, even though they belong to the same myrtle family.


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