February 26 2024 0Comment
Westringia New Zealand

Should I Grow Westringia In New Zealand?


Welcome to our exploration of a plant genus that has captivated many garden enthusiasts and landscape professionals alike – Westringia. This article aims to delve into the world of Westringia, its unique characteristics, and whether it’s a good fit for New Zealand’s gardens and landscapes.

About Westringia

Origin and Distribution

Westringia is a genus of Australian shrubs in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It’s named after Johan Peter Westring, a Swedish botanist and physician to the King of Sweden. These plants are typically found in the wild along the coastal areas of Australia, where they have adapted to a wide range of harsh conditions.

Characteristics of Westringia

Westringias are hardy shrubs with a versatile nature. They exhibit a variety of physical attributes which make them an attractive addition to many gardens. Let’s take a closer look at some of these features:

  1. Leaf Shape: Westringia leaves are usually small, linear, and covered with fine hairs. While not especially aromatic, they do contain the oil glands typical of the mint family.
    1. Flower Colour: The flowers are typically white, purple or pale blue, appearing in clusters at the ends of branches.
    1. Height: Depending on the species, the height can range from ground-covering to over 1.5m.

Westringia in New Zealand

Suitability of New Zealand’s Climate

New Zealand’s temperate climate makes it a suitable environment for growing Westringia. The genus is accustomed to coastal environments, which aligns with many regions in New Zealand. The plant’s adaptability allows it to thrive in both coastal and inland conditions, making it a versatile choice for New Zealand gardeners.

Aesthetic Appeal

Westringia’s year-round foliage and flowers add a touch of beauty to any landscape. Its versatile nature allows it to fit into various landscape designs, from formal manicured gardens to casual beachfront properties.

Ecological Benefits

Beyond aesthetics, Westringia also offers ecological benefits. It provides habitat for wildlife, particularly beneficial insects. Furthermore, being drought-resistant and low maintenance, Westringia is an environmentally friendly choice for gardens.

No Fuss

Westringias are generally pretty easy to grow, especially if you opt for a well-bred variety. Hedge them a couple of times per year, and then you can pretty much leave them alone.

They can tolerate coastal salt sprays, they’re pretty pest-resistant, and they display vigorous growth as long as they’re healthy.

Most westringias prefer drought to flooded conditions, although there are varieties that have been bred to withstand consistent wet feet.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Common Problems when Growing Westringia

While Westringia is generally hardy, gardeners may encounter issues such as root rot in overly wet conditions. To overcome this, ensure your westringia has well-drained soil and avoid overwatering.

Expert Tips for Successful Growth in NZ

For successful growth in New Zealand, consider the following tips:

  1. Plant in a sunny or partly shaded position.
  2. Ensure the soil is well-draining.
  3. Prune regularly to maintain shape and encourage dense growth.

Westringia Varieties in New Zealand

Aussie Box™ Westringia hybrid ‘WES02’ PVR

grow Westringia in New Zealand

Aussie Box™ Westringia is a versatile plant that can be pruned into a box hedge or left in its natural ball shape. It has a compact and tidy growth habit, producing mauve flowers throughout spring and summer.

Unique Characteristics

This variety stands out for its ability to establish faster than other box-type plants such as buxus. It requires less water and infrequent pruning, making it a low-maintenance choice for busy gardeners.


Aussie Box™ Westringia typically grows 40-60cm high and wide when pruned. If left unpruned, it can reach between 70-95cm in both height and width.

Benefits in the Landscape

Its dense growth habit makes it a great choice for hedges, borders, and mass plantings. It can also be grown in containers. This Westringia is drought-tolerant and frost-hardy, making it well suited to New Zealand’s varied climates.

  1. Learn more about Aussie Box Westringia here: http://ozbreed.co.nz/plant-ranges/shrubs-and-ground-covers/aussie-box-westringia/

Blue Gem™ Westringia ‘WES03’ PVR

Westringia New Zealand

Blue Gem™ Westringia is a vibrant plant with striking, bright blue flowers that appear in abundance from autumn to spring.

Unique Characteristics

This Westringia variety is noted for its robust nature. It’s a tough plant that can withstand strong winds, making it a good choice for coastal landscapes.


Blue Gem™ Westringia typically reaches 1.5m high and wide, making it a larger option suitable for creating impactful landscape features.

Benefits in the Landscape

Blue Gem™ Westringia is an excellent choice for hedging, topiary, and large containers. Its bright blue flowers add a pop of colour to any garden during the cooler months when many other plants are not in bloom.

  • Learn more about Blue Gem Westringia here: http://ozbreed.co.nz/plant-ranges/shrubs-and-ground-covers/blue-gem-westringia/

Grey Box™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES04’ PVR

Westringia NZ

Grey Box™ Westringia is a robust plant with beautiful greyish-green foliage and small white flowers that bloom in spring and summer.

Unique Characteristics

Grey Box™ Westringia is a very compact variety, making it ideal for tight planting areas. It’s highly drought-tolerant and requires less pruning than other Westringias.


This variety grows approximately 30-45cm high and wide, making it one of the smaller Westringia options.

Benefits in the Landscape

Grey Box™ Westringia is a perfect choice for borders, containers, and mass plantings. Its compact size also makes it suitable as a low hedge or ground cover. Its hardiness and low water needs make it a sustainable choice for New Zealand gardens.

  • Learn more about Grey Box Westringia here: http://ozbreed.co.nz/plant-ranges/shrubs-and-ground-covers/grey-box-westringia/

Low Horizon™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES06’ PVR

grow Westringia in New Zealand

Low Horizon™ Westringia is a dense, ultra-compact ground cover Westringia that stands out for its low maintenance requirements.

Unique Characteristics

This variety has shorter internodes and a flat habit, making it one of the lowest maintenance ground cover westringias available. Occasional pruning can make this plant appear even tighter.


Low Horizon™ Westringia typically grows to a height of 30cm and spreads to around 70cm wide.

Benefits in the Landscape

Its compact habit makes it an excellent choice for mass plantings, garden borders, or as a ground-covering companion plant.

  • Learn more about Low Horizon Westringia here: http://ozbreed.co.nz/plant-ranges/shrubs-and-ground-covers/low-horizon-westringia/

Mundi™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES05’ PVR

Westringia New Zealand

Mundi™ is a ground cover Westringia that provides beauty and versatility.

Unique Characteristics

Mundi™ is another low-growing, spreading Westringia that requires little water once established. It’s valued for its ability to suppress weeds and its tolerance to consistent flooding.


Mundi™ Westringia typically grows to a height of 50cm and can spread over 1.5m, making it an excellent ground cover option. However, in consistent flooding, it can become much larger than it’s supposed to.

Benefits in the Landscape

Its hardy nature and broad coverage make it ideal for large-scale landscapes, erosion control, and roadside plantings.

  • Learn more about Mundi Westringia here: http://ozbreed.co.nz/plant-ranges/shrubs-and-ground-covers/mundi-westringia/

Naringa™ Westringia ‘WES01’ PVR

Naringa™ is one of the tallest Westringia varieties and is ideal for screening.

Unique Characteristics

This variety is known for its robust nature and ability to be pruned into a hedge or left to express its natural ball shape. It produces mauve flowers throughout the year.


Naringa™ Westringia grows up to 2.2m tall but can be pruned down to 1m if desired, making it a flexible choice for different landscape designs.

Benefits in the Landscape

Its height and dense growth habit make it an excellent choice for privacy screens, windbreaks, and large hedges.

  • Learn more about Naringa Westringia here: http://ozbreed.co.nz/plant-ranges/shrubs-and-ground-covers/naringa-westringia/


In summary, westringia is a versatile and attractive plant that can be a worthy addition to many New Zealand gardens. Its adaptability, aesthetic appeal, and ecological benefits make it an excellent choice for home gardeners, landscape architects, and professional landscapers alike.

The potential challenges are easily manageable with the right care and attention. So why not consider adding a touch of Westringia to your garden or landscape project?

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