Lomatia – a simply astounding shrub family

A lomatia shrub flower.

Lomatia is a family of small shrubs that bloom magnificently. Care is often very easy, and each species of Lomatia has its perks.

A summary of Lomatia key facts

Name – Lomatia species
Family – Proteaceae
Type – evergreen shrub

Height – from 6 to 30 feet (2 to 10 m)
Exposure – full sun to part shade
Soil – acidic,

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – summer

How to plant Lomatia

All lomatia shrubs are similar in size and needs.

Outdoor planting of a Lomatia tree

Lomatia is a shrub that is easy to care for, once it is well established. Soil quality and location are important considerations.

  • Plant in spring and, if not, second best is fall.
  • Lomatia shrubs all love acidic soil and even sandy soil.
  • Choose a mostly sunny emplacement. The sunnier, the bloomier!

Growing Lomatia in a pot

These shrubs are particularly well suited to growing in containers.

  • To avoid needless repotting, transfer your purchased specimen to a rather large pot.
  • Prepare a mix of heath soil and planting soil mix. Add up to a fourth of used coffee grinds if available.
  • The pot must have a hole at the bottom to drain well. Pouring water should result in a very well-draining mix. Add pebbles or expanded clay balls if necessary.

Pruning and caring for Lomatia

All of the Lomatia species will stay rather small. Rarely is pruning needed. In the best of environments, the shrub will top off at around two yards or meters tall.

After the blooming, removing wilted flowers will help the tree focus on branching and rooting.

Remove dead wood regularly and thin out branches to let light penetrate to the center.

  • This will result in your Lomatia keeping a nice, tight shape.

Check our video with expert guidance (activate translation subtitles):

Watering Lomatia

Apart from the first year, when freshly planted, you won’t need to water a lomatia.

This plant family is among the nicest drought-resistant plants.

Diseases often found on a Lomatia

Not many diseases have followed Lomatia shrubs out of their native ranges.

  • If the leaves start turning black, it’s often linked to excess watering. Reduce watering and check that the soil drains well enough.

Learn more about Lomatia

Leaves of the tree lomatiaLomatia is a family of at least twelve species.

  • The one most often sold in garden stores is Lomatia tinctoria, the guitar plant.

Other species are also very beautiful or useful:

  • Lomatia hirsuta –native to Chile and the South American coast. Wood is used for sculpting and woodworking.
  • Lomatia tasmanica – only found in its native range, western Tasmania, it is critically endangered and not for sale.
  • Lomatia arborescens – the tallest of the lomatia species. Reaches 30 feet (10 meters). “Arborescens” means “tree-like”.
  • Lomatia myricoides – also called river lomatia. Light wood that is easy to work into sculptures.
  • Lomatia ferruginea – beautiful wood texture and grain, often used as an ornamental tree in Chile.

Smart tip about Lomatia tinctoria

The blooming and delicately-scented fragrance make it an ideal shrub for pots to decorate your deck next to the table or long chair.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Lomatia ilicifolia flower by zassle under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Lomatia arborescens leaves by Ruth under © CC BY-SA 2.0