Schemes & Themes using Liddle Wonder Plants
Leptospermum Merinda
Leptospermum 'Merinda'
Useful and Pretty

There are many things to like about Leptospermum ‘Merinda’. This Aussie relative of our native manukas offers year round foliage appeal, has a dynamic display of vibrant magenta flowers from early to late spring, and grows as an always tidy, rounded, evergreen shrub a metre high and the same in width. It’s a sterile hybrid, which means it concentrates all its energy on flowering without being slowed by reproduction. It also means there are no seed pods to distract from the beauty of the foliage after the flowers have finished.

The compact habit of growth makes Leptospermum ‘Merinda’ most attractive to those with small gardens looking for plants of character which won’t take up too much room. It’s also ideal for low maintenance plantings. When planted as a group it looks stunning as well as being a most effective way of saving work, because weeds can’t germinate beneath its dense cover of foliage. It’s a sun lover with a need for well drained soils. Once established it’s drought tolerant and it does well in windy sites.

Use it among other compact shrubs which also have attractive foliage and flowers and there will never be a dull moment in the garden. Try growing it with Grevilleas, which will flower all winter and into early spring, and as a background to the pretty pink flowered shrub Acmadenia ‘Starblush’. Or with compact Ceanothus varieties such as ‘Blue Sapphire’, which has stunning, deep blue flowers in spring, and dazzling Leucospermums such as ‘Veldfire’ and ‘Champagne’ for late spring to early summer colour.

For foliage contrast, combine it with Acacia ‘Green Mist’, which is also a compact shrub, with beautiful, weeping foliage which is a fresh green all year round. Add an extra dimension with the upright, silver foliage of Astelia ‘Silver Spears’ or the dramatically dark and bold leaves of Phormium ‘Black Rage’, a new variety of native flax. If that’s not colourful enough, plant it in the foreground of Melicope ‘Wharangi Gold’, a native shrub with golden-yellow leaves which are dazzling year round.
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