Banksia integrifolia

coast banksia
Upright tree combines oak and olive traits into a sparkling, fast-growing, long-lived tree with pale yellow flowers. Tolerates many soils, summer water.
Banksia integrifolia
height 20–40
width 15–30ft
tolerates Drought, Fog, Salt, Wind
Low – Moderate
Banksia are from Australia and adapt well to California, particularly along the coast. They appreciate good drainage, but are somewhat adaptable to heavier soil as long as watering is infrequent (once established) and they are in a sunny spot. Once established they will grow and look their best with deep watering every other week to once a month during summer. If they have sharp drainage they will tolerate even more water.
exposure Part Sun – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing Bloodmeal, Fish Emulsion, Low Needs
origin E Australia

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

This banksia has a tree form, but can be kept smaller by pruning. We see decades old trees in California settling in around 35 feet though with great age we would expect them to grow beyond this. Don’t prune more than two years of growth or you risk the plant not budding back.
Banksia prefer mildly acidic soil, and if your PH is on the high side you can add cottonseed meal or other mild acidifying fertilizer to lower it. They appreciate nitrogen in the form of fish emulsion or blood meal, but never give them any significant phosphorus and avoid potassium.
When grown in exceptionally windy areas the tree will become windswept and dwarfed, but still perform well.
This banksia wants to branch multiple times from one growth point. It’s best to thin these to just one branch on primary and secondary branching to keep the tree tidy and strong.
This banksia is one of the easiest to grow, and most forgiving of heavier soils.

Special Interest

The white undersides of this banksia’s leaves are quite striking, especially when lit from below at night.