Planting your Grass Tree

Xanthorrhoea johnsonii
is one of 28 species of grass trees in Australia, best suited to QLD and NSW climates.

Your purchase of these stunning trees will enhance your outdoor space and give you years of pleasure. An impressive feature, your grass tree will add value to your home and lifestyle experience.

Grass trees are extremely hardy if well cared for in the initial stages of transplanting from the wild. Only a small number of reputable companies successfully transplant grass trees and our supplier is one of them.

Our trees are not sold for around 12 months after transplantation, which is when they display strong root and new top growth. Grass trees are extremely slow growing. In poor bush soil, where most grass trees grow naturally, the trunk will grow approximately 1cm per year. They take up to 10 years to start forming a trunk, and a tree with a 1 metre tall trunk could be 100 years old. In better soils, growth is slightly faster and trees are more likely to grow multiple heads.

Grass trees will always grow more vigorously in the garden than in pots, as they can access the right balance of nutrients themselves.

Planting and Drainage:

Choose an open, sunny position for your grass tree, with good drainage. Avoid any boggy or low-lying spots that hold water during the wet season. Plant on a slope or in a raised bed if that is not possible.

Keep as much soil around the roots as possible and minimise damage and disturbance to the roots when planting. This is best achieved by preparing a hole at least twice the size of the pot. Gently lie the pot on the ground and cut the bottom of the pot out with secateurs or similar. Next, gently position the pot in the hole and make 2 cuts opposite each other down the sides of the pot. The sides can then be removed and you can start backfilling into the hole. It is important to ensure that you leave no air pockets in the soil, so it is a good idea to water in as you go. Gently rocking the tree will help, and about 50 litres of water will be needed at each watering.

Once your grass tree has been planted, you can give it a drink of diluted seasol, to help reduce transplant shock. No other fertilisers should be needed.

Water your grass tree about twice a week during the drier months, and every 10 days or so during the wet season if it doesn’t rain. Use about 5 buckets worth for a good soak.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary, and in fact, may be detrimental to set fire to your grass tree. It is not advised to set fire to the crown at any stage of your tree’s life.

Fertilising:

As chemical fertilisers are not naturally present in Australian soils, it is not considered that your grass tree will require fertilising. The only exception is a bucket or two of diluted seasol at planting, and perhaps during the growing season between October and January. Your natural garden soil should provide all the nutrients your grass tree requires.

By following the above guidelines you will give your grass tree the best chance for a long and healthy life. We cannot provide a guarantee for the life of the plant once it leaves the nursery, but we are happy to give you any advice that you may require.