Weeping willows (salix babylonica) are beautiful. But apparently they always have caterpillars and my folks don’t fancy caterpillars very much. There is no way they’ll welcome one in the garden.
Then I came across the weeping tea tree – leptospermum brachyandrum. I could hardly believe it. A combination of two of my favourite trees; the weeping willow and the tea tree (melaleuca bracteata). Guess what that meant? It meant I was on a mission …
For a long time, the only specimens I came across were whoppers that towered over me. Needless to say those were out of the question. I wanted a small one that I could grow in a pot and nurture over the years. It would also be kinder on the pocket.
I saw one standing at 18 inches tall. They wanted rm15 for it. I hesitated … and you know what they say about people who hesitate. When I changed my mind and went back to the nursery, it was no longer there. Looks like I am not the only one who likes the weeping tea tree.
It has many merits after all – a beautiful pendulous structure, a lovely trunk and soft narrow leaves which are fragrant when crushed.
Yesterday, after checking out about half a dozen nurseries at Sg Buloh, I was ready to concede once again. Then we decided to make a final stop at a nursery tucked further in. I saw two trees standing at over 8 feet tall. I pointed these out to the lady there and asked for small bagged ones. She walked towards the row of plants at the back to check and beckoned me. BINGO! I could have hugged her!
There were about 20 bags of the weeping tea’ trees’, all below a foot tall. I selected one. “Rm9,” she said. Anything under rm10 sounded like music to my ears. Even so, I got my trophy for just rm8 …
Care and propagation: Shade to full sun, water moderately, not fussy about soil; propagate through cuttings or seeds