Banksia speciosa

ricrac banksia
Rickrack leaves on airy upright shrub with cream flowerheads at tips. Perfect for sandy soils and coastal gardens. No phosphorous.
Banksia speciosaBanksia speciosa
height 12–20
width 10–15ft
tolerates Drought, Fog, Heat, Wind
Low – Moderate
Banksia are from mediterranean climates of 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 Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing Bloodmeal, Fish Emulsion, Low Needs, No Phosphorus
origin SW Australia
14–17, 20–24

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 an open, meandering, bushy form, and can be kept smaller by pruning. Don’t prune more than two years of growth or you risk the plant not budding back. You can also prune them up to force a more treelike form, this is best started early.
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.

Special Interest

Long lasting cut flowers are followed by decorative cones.