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Yellow flowers of the golden penda plant in a garden
Golden penda is a spectacular flowering tree native to the rainforests of Queensland. Fortunately, it’s also at home in gardens and backyards, where its tall, narrow shape makes it a popular flowering hedge or privacy screen in tropical and sub-tropical zones.

What you need to know about golden penda

Name: golden penda, Xanthostemon chrysanthus.

Height: usually 8–15m, with dwarf varieties to just 3m. 

Plant type: evergreen tree.

Foliage: glossy dark green leaves.

Climate: prefers frost-free warm temperate, sub-tropical and tropical climates.

Soil: prefers deep, moist but well-drained soil enriched with compost.

Position: full sun to part shade. 

Flowering: showy golden yellow flowers (similar to a eucalypt) appear in profusion in summer and autumn. 

Feeding: apply controlled release fertiliser for native plants twice a year. 

Watering: water regularly during establishment and dry weather. 

Appearance and characteristics of golden penda

Golden penda is a popular tree in frost-free areas, with showy golden flowers and glossy evergreen foliage. With a tall and narrow form, it can also be pruned as a hedge or large shrub. The golden flowers appear in summer and autumn with a mass of stamen, similar to a gum tree (Eucalyptus sp.) or bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.).

Close-up of a yellow golden penda flower

Uses for golden penda trees

A popular screening plant used for hedging, golden penda also makes a stunning windbreak or specimen tree. The golden flowers attract birds, bees and other beneficial insects while the glossy evergreen foliage screens out prying eyes and harsh winds. 

How to plant and grow golden pendas

  1. Water the pot and put it aside while you prepare the hole. 
  2. Select a position in full sun and improve the soil with compost and well-aged manure.
  3. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot. 
  4. Squeeze the pot and carefully remove the tree. Place in the hole and backfill soil so that the potting mix sits at the same level as the surrounding soil.
  5. Firm the soil down and water to remove any air pockets around the roots. 
  6. Stake if the tree is large, otherwise it will be fine without a stake as long as it is not exposed to high winds. 
  7. Mulch around the tree to help retain soil moisture and to prevent weed growth.

How often should you water and feed a golden penda?

Water regularly during establishment and whenever the weather is dry. Golden penda prefers a moist, but free draining soil. Regular watering improves flowering and performance. 

Apply a controlled release fertiliser for native plants each year in spring and autumn.

Pruning a golden penda

Prune only to remove unwanted or damaged growth or to maintain a more compact shape or overall size. 

Pest and diseases affecting golden penda

An Australian native, golden penda is usually pest and disease free although scale can be a problem in some areas. Treat with Eco Oil or Pest Oil if necessary. 

How to grow golden penda from cuttings

Although it can be propagated by seed, golden penda is usually propagated by cuttings to ensure new plants are identical to the parent plant in height, shape and flowering performance. 

  1. Take semi-hardwood cuttings in late spring. Semi-hardwood is last year’s growth which is changing colour from green to brown. Take a cutting around 14cm long. 
  2. Pinch your finger on the stem about 4cm from the base and quickly slide your fingers down the cutting. This will encourage root growth. 
  3. Dip this end in rooting powder or gel. 
  4. Fill a pot with cutting mix and water. 
  5. Poke a hole in the mix using a pencil, insert the cutting into the mix and press down to hold securely in place. 
  6. Repeat until you have 4–6 cuttings in the pot. 
  7. Place in part shade and water regularly. 
  8. When roots develop, repot into individual pots.

If you like this then try

Bottlebrush (Callistemon): a close relative to golden penda with varieties suited to all climates.

Lilly pilly: wonderful native screening or hedging plants for most gardens and climates. 

Grevillea: some of the best bird-attracting plants for gardens big and small. 

Start growing today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!


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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.