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Lemon Scented Tea-Tree

Leptospermum petersonii

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Lemon Scented Tea-Tree (Leptospermum petersonii) at Roger's Gardens

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree (Leptospermum petersonii) at Roger's Gardens

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree flowers

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree (Leptospermum petersonii) at Roger's Gardens

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree bark

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree bark

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8b

Other Names:  Leptospermum citratum, Coastal Tea-Tree, Manuka

Description:

A spreading large shrub or small tree that shows good drought tolerance; leaves have a lovely lemon scent when crushed; covered with showy white flowers in spring; prune to avoid seed from spreading

Ornamental Features

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree is bathed in stunning white star-shaped flowers with tan eyes along the branches from early spring to early summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has attractive green foliage which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The small narrow leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter. It produces dark gray capsules from mid to late summer. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up. The peeling khaki (brownish-green) bark and brick red branches are extremely showy and add significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen tree with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Self-Seeding

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This species is not originally from North America.

Lemon Scented Tea-Tree is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Shade  Massing  Screening  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features