How to Grow Xanthorrhoea - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Trees Category   /   2023

Xanthorrhoea, also known as grasstree, blackboy, or yacca, is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants native to Australia, and the only genus in the family Xanthorrhoeaceae. The plants are perennial herbs with leathery evergreen leaves and tall flower spikes. The genus is distributed across southern Australia, from Queensland to South Australia.

How to Grow Xanthorrhoea - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Xanthorrhoea plant? Although the plant is a little unpretentious, it still needs some basic care. The plant should be in a sunny or lightly shaded spot and in well-drained soil. It should be watered regularly during the growing season and fertilized every few weeks.

Plant Size

How big can it be? Since Xanthorrhoea is a plant that can vary greatly in size, it is important to note that the size of the plant can be anything from very small to very large. In nature, Xanthorrhoea can grow up to 4 m in height, which is significantly taller than the average person. However, it is not uncommon for Xanthorrhoea to be much smaller than this, and it is not unusual for plants to only grow to a height of 1-2 m.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? Common ly known as the gras tree, blackboy, or yacca, the Xanthorrhoea is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants native to Australia. The Xanthorrhoea is a very slow-growing plant; in poor soil, it may only grow 0.9 to 2.5 cm per year. A plant that is 1 m high may be around 100 years old. In richer soils, the plant can grow faster. Even though growth is slow, lignification (the process of converting plant tissue to wood) begins only after 4 to 5 years from the beginning of growth. Attractive plants with short stems (10 cm) and leaves up to 1.5 m can develop in 10 years. The formation of a tree with a powerful trunk can take 30 years.

Xanthorrhoea Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Herbal Tree
Family Xanthorrhoeaceae
Origin Western Australia. The name xantorrhea was obtained because of the yellow resin, which the plant secrets with damage to the stem.

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Sometimes, a plant's age is unknown. The Xanthorrhoea, also known as the grass tree, is a perennial plant that can live up to 600 years. The grass tree is an Australian native and can be found in woodlands and heathlands.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Sometimes, people ask what the optimal temperature is for the growth of the Xanthorrhoea plant. The answer to that question is + 68 ° F. However, it's important to know that this plant can adapt to a wide range of temperatures. It can even withstand short freezing and heat. At home, this plant often burns heavily during fires. But later, it is restored.

Humidity

What about the humidity? known as the grass tree, bottle tree, or black boy, is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants native to Australia. There are about 17 species that occur in Western Australia, 9 in South Australia and the Northern Territory, 4 in New South Wales, and 2 in Victoria. The genus is most closely related to the genus Dasypogon, and was once included in that genus. Xanthorrhoea is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants native to Australia. There are about 17 species that occur in Western Australia, 9 in South Australia and the Northern Territory, 4 in New South Wales, and 2 in Victoria. The genus is most closely related to the genus Dasypogon, and was once included in that genus. The plants are easily adaptable to low humidity and have a long flowering season. The flowers are borne on a spike at the end of a long stem, and are white, cream, or yellow in color.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Eventually, the plants will need full sun, but when they are young, they will need some protection from the hot afternoon sun. They can be kept in bright light indoors near a sunny window. If you live in an apartment, a north-facing window is ideal. They will also do well under artificial lights, such as fluorescent bulbs.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Xanthorrhoea? Eventually, the plant will need repotting as it grows. When this time comes, it requires very breathable soil, for example, from equal parts of soddy land, leafy earth, coarse-grained sand or perlite and peat. You can add to the soil pieces of gravel, broken bricks. In nature xanthorrhoea grows very poor stony soils, but can accelerate the growth of more fertile substrate. Very good drainage is required.

Watering Time

How much I must water Xanthorrhoea? The plant is drought resistant and does not need to be watered often. It is best to water the plant when the soil has dried to a depth of about 5 cm. It is not recommended to place the pot in a pan of water (with the exception of keeping it in hot weather) to avoid stagnation of moisture.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. While this plant does not require a lot of fertilizer, be careful not to overdo it as too much can be toxic. A good way to fertilize is with slow-release components, and/or top dressings such as potassium sulfate or cow dung. It is best to avoid top dressings with high phosphorus content.

Reproduction

How to reproduce Xanthorrhoea? Unless you have a plant that is already mature, it will take a very long time to get a tree from a seedling. The best way to sow the seeds is in organic substrate from peat and sand, immersing to a depth of 3-6 mm. You can also use a mixture of sand and perlite (1:1), placing them at a depth of about 6 mm. It is also possible to germinate the seeds in a mixture of 3 parts perlite and 1 part peat. The formation of a tree from a seedling will last a very long time.

Bloom

Why Xanthorrhoea won't bloom? Since it is a plant that usually blooms after fire (or when growers scorch the plant with a blow lamp), it is not typically found blooming at home. If the plant does happen to bloom, the flowers should be removed in advance as flowering significantly weakens the plant.

Caring The Xanthorrhoea

How to care the plant? Sometimes, the plant needs to be transplanted to a new pot. This is a delicate process because the plant has a weak root system. The old pot must be removed carefully to avoid damaging the roots. It is best to cut the walls of the old pot and separate the bottom if the pot is plastic. The new pot should have drainage and be filled with new substrate. The plant will need time to adapt to the new pot. It is important to remove dry and fallen leaves to prevent fungal infection. The leaves of the plant only last for 2-3 years. After that, they will wither and form a "cap" of dead straw. These leaves should be removed in a timely manner. If the tips of the leaves are dry and brown, then the leaves should be cut by 1/3 to 1/2 of their length. This will stimulate new growth.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Xanthorrhoea plant? Because most of the time they just sit there, looking like a piece of wood. And when they do move, it’s so slow that it’s hard to see. But don’t be fooled by their harmless appearance—spider mites, mealy worms, and scabies can do a lot of damage to your plants.

Benefit

What is the benefit of the plant? Sometimes, they will also use it to make a sweet fresh drink from the inflorescences. European settlers in Australia used the resin for the production of lacquer. For example, during the Second World War, cans of canned food sent to Australian troops in the Pacific were covered with a protective layer of this varnish that prevented the appearance of rust.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Xanthorrhoea poisonous? Sometimes, the plant is called "grass tree" or "blackboy". The plant is poisonous, its leaves are dangerous to animals. If an animal eats the leaves, it will get sick or die.