Planting a pinwheel tree - tips on location and substrate


The pinwheel tree originally comes from Australia and can only be cultivated in our tub. We show you what you need to consider when planting.

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The pinwheel tree is a very distinctive plant from the silver tree family. The home of the exotic plant is in Australia. The ornamental plant grows there in the wild. The flowers gave the plant its name. The deep red tubular flowers are grouped in a circle around a center that appears like wheel spokes. The yellow pistils protrude from small heads. In the following we will tell you what there is to consider when cultivating the firewheel tree in our latitudes.

Plant Description

In its natural home, the pinwheel tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus) grows as an evergreen plant and reaches stature heights of 20 meters and more. However, the trees grow slowly. Firewheel trees have dense crowns and upright trunks, which surround a smooth, red-brown bark. The glossy, dark green leaves are arranged opposite each other and are about 30 centimeters long. From the flowers already described, oval, up to ten centimeters long fruits develop.

The distribution area extends to the rain forests located in the east of Australia, to the east of Queensland and the northeast of New South Wales.

Suitable location

It is not possible to cultivate the heat-loving plant in Germany in the wild. We have to limit ourselves to bucket keeping. The plants usually don't grow taller than two meters. In their beauty, however, they are in no way inferior to the specimens in the Australian countryside. In summer, the firewheel tree can move to a balcony or terrace.

To find the right location, let's look at the natural growth conditions in the Australian rainforests. There are temperatures of 25 degrees and more all year round. The thermometer does not drop below 20 degrees even at night. The fire wheel trees are illuminated by the sun for about six to eight hours a day.

This allows the fire wheel tree to be cultivated at room temperature all year round. Find a bright location and ensure that the tree is illuminated by the sun for at least a few hours a day.

" Tip: The leaves appear leathery and harder in a somewhat cooler location. The higher the ambient temperature, the larger and softer the leaves are.

The ambient temperature should be at least 18 degrees. If the thermometer falls below ten degrees, this can damage the plant. Between April and October, the pinwheel tree is allowed to go outdoors. Keeping in the winter garden is also an option. If this is heated, the pinwheel tree can be cultivated there all year round. However, the incidence of light is diminished by the glass wall and if you have the opportunity, an outdoor stand should be preferred during the summer months.

The trees need space to grow tall. The plants expand less in width, apart from the dense crown. Under ideal site conditions, heights of growth of up to four meters can be achieved.

" Tip: Young plants are particularly sensitive and die quickly. Older plants are easier to cultivate.

The right location should be bright, sunny and warm all year round. In addition, it should offer enough space.

Ideal substrate

Conventional potting soil can be used as the basis for cultivation. This is mixed in as long-term fertilizer before planting compost. In their natural home, the trees tend to grow on you barren soil, However, that is very important permeability of the substrate.

" Tip: Commercial potting soil is always pre-fertilized and could contain too many or wrong nutrients.

So the potting soil should be upgraded accordingly. Good permeability is achieved by adding sand or perlite. You can also mix in gravel or lava granulate. A mixture of potting soil has worked well sand and humus, The permeability of the substrate is also improved by adding coconut fibers. A pure peat soil, on the other hand, proves to be rather disadvantageous.

" Tip: If you have the option, determine the pH of the substrate. Ideally, this should be 4.5 to 5.5.

Planting instructions - step by step

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1. Select a planter
2. Prepare the substrate
3. Prepare the substrate
4. Lay drainage
5. Fill in the substrate
6. Insert the plant
7. Fill up the substrate
8. Press on the earth
9. Water the plant
10. Place the plant in the appropriate location

With the pinwheel tree we are dealing with a slow growing plant. Therefore, the planter should not be chosen too large. If the plant is given too much space, it will concentrate its strength more on the formation of the roots and less on the actual growth of the stem, the leaves and the crown, which the amateur gardener is aiming for. When choosing the planter, make sure that there are sufficient drainage holes so that the liquid does not jam.

The substrate is provided and upgraded according to our recommendations. Before planting, you should lay a drain on the bottom of the pot. By applying pottery shards or coarse gravel, waterlogging can be effectively prevented. This is particularly important with the fire wheel tree, because waterlogging is not tolerated and quickly leads to the roots dying off.

Now fill some substrate into the planter and place the pinwheel tree in the pot. Take special care not to injure the roots. These are particularly sensitive to young plants. Now you can fill up the substrate and water the plant well. Then, depending on the season, a location in the warm room or on the balcony or terrace is chosen.

Overview of planting the pinwheel tree

Find locationThe fire wheel tree needs a bright and warm location all year round. To ensure a high light intensity and thus meet the natural demands of the plant, it is advisable to stand outdoors in summer. The ambient temperature should be 20 to 25 degrees all year round.
Select substrateIn their natural environment, the plants grow in a rather nutrient-poor substrate. If you mix garden soil with compost and sand, the right substrate should be found. The permeability of the soil and thus the prevention of waterlogging is very important.
Plant the pinwheel treeChoose a sufficiently large planter and place a drainage of gravel or clay granulate on the bottom of the plant pot. Since the roots are very sensitive, the pinwheel tree should be planted carefully. The plant is then watered well and placed at the appropriate location.

Repotting the pinwheel tree

The right time for repotting is early spring, when the plant has not yet started to sprout. Good news for the hobby gardener - the pinwheel tree does not have to be repotted every year because it grows slowly. Nevertheless, a regular renewal of the substrate makes sense, since the plant forms dense tufts of roots and thus quickly uses up and consumes the soil in the planter.

The silver tree plants are also known to form woody root bulbs and can therefore only be cultivated in very deep planters. However, this is not proven for the fire wheel tree. The formation of the “lignotubers” is increasingly carried out by plants that grow in regions at risk from bush fires. The root bulb enables the plant to sprout again after a fire. The pinwheel tree grows exclusively in the rainforest and probably does not have this peculiarity.

" Tip: Due to the formation of a dense and shrub-like root ball, the planter should not be chosen too small.

In order not to injure the roots, care should be taken when transplanting. Remove the plant from the old planter. On this occasion you can check the texture of the roots and possibly trim the root ball accordingly. However, you should only do this if you identify diseased or dead root parts. Do not plant the firewheel tree deeper into the new planter than it was in the old plant pot.