When it comes to hedging or filler plants, you’ll ideally want something hassle-free and evergreen. That’s what makes the Griselinia so perfect for a range of gardens.
Easy to establish and easy to grow, the Griselinia littoralis is a fast-growing, large shrub often used for hedging. Thinking of adding a Griselinia hedge to your garden?
Here is everything you need to know to cultivate, care for and grow this wonderful species.
An Introduction to Griselinia Littoralis
Griselinia littoralis, also known as ‘Broadway mint’, is an evergreen shrub species with emerald green, glossy, ovate leaves. Native to New Zealand, the littoralis cultivar forms part of the griseliniaceae family – a group of medium and large growing shrubs.
Fast-growing and fairly easy to cultivate, this shrub is revered for its foliage. Although it is a flowering shrub, the small yellow blooms are often insignificant.
However, when growing both a male and female plant, the small flowers are often followed by purple berries, which will attract a range of birdlife to your garden.
Growing on average between 9 to 13 feet tall and particularly tolerant to salt, wind and frost, this cultivar is ideal for coastal gardens and USDA zones 7 to 8.
How to Grow Griselinia
Whether you’re planning on growing Griselinia hedging or individual shrubs, your plants won’t require much to establish themselves.
It is recommended to grow your Griselinia hedge in a south or west facing position, receiving full sun throughout the day. If being grown individually or in a pot, a semi-shaded area will also be suitable.
The Griselinia species isn’t overly picky when it comes to soil. However, it does do best in sandy, loam-based soils that are well-draining. You won’t have to worry too much about alkalinity or acidity unless either is particularly extreme.
Propagation is very straightforward for this species. However, many gardeners who are planning on Griselinia hedging prefer to purchase established, smaller shrubs from a gardening center.
Still, Broadway mint can be propagated both from seed or from semi-ripe cuttings.
Seeds are readily available from the berries which this shrub produces. Seeds can be sewn into a seeding tray or directly into the soil.
Steps on How to Take Semi-Ripe Cuttings
Propagation is also possible from cuttings taken in mid-summer from a healthy, well-established parent plant.
To prepare your cutting, you will need:
- A Pair of Sharp, Sterilized Garden Shears
- Rooting Hormone
- Seedling Trays
- Vermiculite Potting Soil
- A Plastic or Glass Protective Cover (if you’re cutting will be kept outdoors)
Steps on Taking a Cutting
- Pick a healthy, straight growing stem. You will want to ensure mature wood at the base of the cutting.
- Using your shears, cut just below the leaf node. Your cutting should be approximately 4 ½ to 6 inches long.
- Remove the leaves around the lower third of the cutting, taking care to leave the younger leaves at the top of the stem.
- Fill a seeding tray with the potting soil. Dip the base of the cutting into a rooting hormone, then place deep into the soil mixture.
- Water your cutting regularly until new growth appears. Take care to protect it from major winds or weather conditions.
Once you start to notice new leaves forming, your cutting will be ready to plant, individually or as part of a hedge. However, for thick Griselinia hedging, it is recommended to start with established, smaller shrubs.
Planting Griselinia Hedge
If you’re planning on planting Griselinia hedging, you will want to ensure the site is properly prepared and that all plants are in line. Hedging plants should be transferred into the soil during either the spring or fall.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Unwrap the bundle of roots from the bag. Leave roots to stand in a water bucket while you prepare the planting site. Drying out roots will negatively affect root growth after planting.
- Dig a semi-shallow trench along with the planting site. Take care to loosen the soil within the trench.
- Layout a string along the trench; this will help you to ensure your hedge is straight.
- Layout your plants along the string. Sprinkle the roots with a rich compost mix.
- Moving from plant to plant, place your shrubs within the trench. Ensure the base of the stem is in line with the rest of the soil. Pat the soil down gently, taking care not to over-compact the soil, restricting the roots.
- Water thoroughly for the first month. Then, cut back. Take care to de-weed around the base of your shrubs to ensure the roots are able to absorb maximum nutrients from the soil.
Don't miss our Best Hedge Trimmer Reviews for 2021 to help you form that beautiful hedge.
Griselinia Littoralis Care
Once established, the littoralis is a largely fuss-free plant and shouldn’t require too much of your attention.
Unless it is a particularly dry season, water sparingly, allowing the soil to drain completely. A general-purpose fertilizer can be added during the spring.
Regular pruning can happen year-round. This should be done to regulate size and shape, as well as to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches.
It is possible for seeds from the berries to drop onto the soil when birds begin to feed. These may germinate and begin to grow. In order to avoid overcrowding, transplant seedlings during early spring.
Griselinia Potential Problems
Luckily, there are very few issues you will need to be worried about. In most conditions, your Griselinia hedge will grow happily and problem-free.
While most cultivars are completely pest resistant, they are susceptible to leaf spots. For very healthy trees, they can survive leaf spots fairly well. Using a sterilized pair of shears, occasionally remove any infected leaves or dead twigs.
Do your best to keep the foliage dry. In very bad cases, you may need to turn to fungicides or replace the plant as a whole.
Final Tips on How to Grow Griselinia
- When planting as hedging, be sure to dig a wide enough trench and loosen the soil; this will help encourage the roots to grow outwards.
- Should you notice black leaves on your Griselinia, this could be due to frost damage. While it is not fatal to the plant, you can consider feeding your plants sulphate of potash during the autumn to support them during the winter.
- These are not moisture-needy plants, so avoid over-watering. Waterlogged soil can cause root rot, and you may not notice it until it’s too late. Take care to regulate soil moisture and ensure the soil is draining.
- If you are planning on growing your Griselinia in a pot, be sure to give the roots more than enough space to expand. Constricted roots will impede growth.
Looking for some other fantastic hedging plants to couple with your Griselinia littoralis? Take a look at our complete Hedging guide.
Wrapping up Our Griselinia Guide
So, there you have it—everything you need to know to have happy and healthy growing Griselinia hedging. Be sure to plant your hedging during the right season so as to allow it to establish itself before the extreme heat or cold.