The Manuka or tea tree from New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania, is a pretty-flowered, woody, evergreen shrub with glossy, aromatic leaves, which are covered with a sheen of fine, silky hairs as they emerge. The 5-petaled flowers are usually white, but see the cultivars below.
It is almost hardy’ outdoors in milder temperate regions, and will thrive in a cool conservatory. Cultivars include: L.s. ‘Burgundy Queen’ with deep red flowers; L.s. ‘Cherry Brandy’ with cerise flowers and deep red-bronze leaves; and L.s. var. incanum ‘Keatleyi’ which has red new shoots and large, silky, pink flowers.
Size: Height up to 10 ft. (3 m).
Light: Direct sunlight, but not noon sun in summer. Cool light.
Temperature: Tolerates a wide range; winter minimum 40°F (4°C)
Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fail, drier in winter.
Feeding: Standard liquid fertilizer once a month in spring and summer.
Propagation: Take 4 in. (10 cm) tip or heel cuttings in spring or summer.
Special needs: Keep the plant bushy by pinching the tips of the shoots after flowering.