Schemes & Themes using Liddle Wonder Plants
Leptospermum Electric Red
Leptospermum scoparium 'Electric Red'
Manuka magic

This new hybrid manuka (Leptospermum) has been bred for a superior flowering performance and intensity of colour. This it certainly has, putting on an amazing display of vibrant red flowers in spring, completely covering the bush and creating a dramatic contrast to the dark foliage. The flowering actually commences in winter, although it’s light until the spring flush when it really lets loose!

The evergreen foliage is an attractive feature in itself, ensuring that ‘Electric Red’ is never boring, combining well with dark green shrubs in boundaries and borders.

This is a very easy shrub, its main requirements being a well drained soil and plenty of sunshine. It grows up to 2.5 metres and is dense and bushy, to a width of one metre. An autumn pruning, removing up to one third of the growth, encourages it to be extra bushy and flower even more profusely the next time round.

The strong foliage colour makes this an interesting shrub to combine with bold green native foliage plants. In frost free areas, it’s superb with the big, paddle shaped leaves of puka, Meryta sinclairii or the selected form of pohutukawa, Metrosideros ‘Vibrance’, which is notable for its extra showy scarlet flowers and glossy foliage. In both mild and cold winter areas, it looks good when joined by kowhais (Sophora), such as ‘Te Atatu Gold’ and the compact growing, winter flowering ‘Dragon’s Gold’.

Use Leptospermum ‘Electric Red’ as a backdrop to some of the exciting new forms of cabbage trees (Cordylines) such as ‘Midnight Star’, ‘Red Star’ and ‘Emerald Goddess’ and the even bolder foliage of Aloe bainesii which is like a living piece of sculpture with its whirls of sword shaped leaves on thick, outstretched branches.

In very sunny sites and where the drainage is excellent, Leptospermum ‘Electric Red’ combines effectively with Proteas, such as the dark red, forever flowering ‘Clark’s Red’, and the big and bushy and equally free flowering Grevillea ‘Robyn Hood’. It also makes a handsome background planting for Leucospermums such as red flowered ‘Veldfire’ and the more subtle, soft pink ‘Champagne’.
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