Real World Gardener Quirky Dwarf Conifers in Plant of the Week

June 2nd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney,streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community RadioNetwork. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOKThe complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.



What makes a conifer?

A tree which bears cones and needle-like or scale-like leaves the majority of which are evergreen.

Long before flowering plants ruled the plant there were these guys, standing tall and covering most parts of the land mass.

Some of those ancient trees that have survived today grow really, really tall, but we’re not talking tall at all today.

Mt Tomah Botanic Garden photo M Cannon

Let’s find out what this group of plants is.

I'm talking with  the plant panel : Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner.

Conifers come in all shapes, colours and sizes.

Did you know that conifers from hotter areas with high sunlight levels (e.g. Turkish Pine Pinus brutia) often have yellower-green leaves, while others (e.g. Blue Spruce Picea pungens) have a very strong glaucous wax bloom to reflect ultraviolet light.

Some of the varieties mentioned were:

Thuja orientalis "Aurea nana"

Thuja orientalis 'Aurea Nana'  "Golden Biota or Bookleaf

" A very popular conifer, forming a neat globular shape with a smooth outline. In summer the plant is bright gold, greener in winter. Very hardy, excellent in pots. Supposed to grow to only 1 metre but when in the ground, has expanded to be over 2 metres by 3 metres wide.

depressed%2Bstar%2Bconifer.jpgJuniperus communis 'Depressed Star'

A low spreading shrub growing to approx 1metre wide by 30cm high. The foliage is a fresh green colour in summer, coppery green in winter.



Cedrus deodara 'Feelin Blue' 


A low spreading Cedar with beautiful blue foliage. In 10 years a spread of more than 1metre should be achieved.

Often grafted as a standard.


Picea glauca 'Elf' 

1-picea_glauca_elf.jpgA very slow grower, forming a beautiful round ball. Covered in soft, light green, fluffy foliage in spring; darker green for the rest of the year. In 10 years, it may reach 30cm x 30cm.

Don’t be put off by the few specimens that you’ve seen in gardens or are available in garden centres because they’re only a small percentage of what’s available.








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