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Growing Casuarina glauca ‘Kattang Karpet’
Casuarina glauca ‘Kattang Karpet’ is slow to moderate growing prostrate fine leaf form of the common she oak seen growing throughout eastern Australia mainly around moist gullies, streams and waterways. It will grow up to 30 cm high and more than 2 metres wide and forms a lovely thick mat of fine hair like foliage which follows the contours of the landscape. ‘Kattang Karpet’ is perfect as natural living mulch which will help to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.
Whilst conducting field studies in 1998 an unusual form of Casuarina glauca was discovered by one of our experienced horticulturists laying flat and hanging precariously on a cliff edge in the Kattang Nature Reserve on the mid north coast of New South Wales (top two photos). Cuttings were taken back to the nursery where staff at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan successfully propagated and transplanted them into pots. Some time later garden staff planted them in the Connections Garden where they can still be seen growing to this day (photos 3 and 4).
A full sun to part shade position is preferred in a wide range of soil types including light clay or sand however ‘Kattang Karpet’ will grow best in an well drained slightly acid soil on a raised bed with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0.
It is tolerant of light frost when young and may sustain some minor leaf damage and purpling of foliage, but will become hardier with age.
It is not recommended that you transplant Casuarina glauca ‘Kattang Karpet’ once established.
Avoid wetting the foliage if possible to minimise fungal problems. Monitor watering levels in the first season after planting and during the warmer months of the year to maintain adequate soil moisture. Once established and in the cooler months of the year plants will require minimal watering.
Fertilise with a general purpose 3- to 4-month slow release fertiliser suitable for natives in spring and autumn. Supplementary applications of a complete liquid fertiliser at monthly intervals will assist with plant health and vigour especially in the early stages after planting.
After planting your ‘Kattang Karpet’ it is recommended you mulch around the plant to a depth of 5 cm to conserve soil moisture and to assist with plant health.
Pruning is not generally required for plant health or vigour but can be conducted for aesthetic reasons.
Pests and diseases
Casuarina glauca ‘Kattang Karpet’ is susceptible to Powdery Mildew during cool moist weather especially in shady areas and should be monitored and treated with an appropriate organic fungicide if necessary. Fungal problems can be minimised by avoiding foliage wetting during irrigation. It can also be affected by leaf chewing caterpillars and should be monitored for evidence of leaf damage, treat with an organic insecticide to avoid major pest infestations.
The Casuarina glauca ‘Kattang Karpet’ is available for purchase from the Growing Friends nurseries located within the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and also the Visitor Centre at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.