A small group of hardy, free flowering, deciduous shrubs. Tamarix are wind and salt tolerant, so they are ideal for coastal gardens. Although will also grow well in sheltered inland areas.

Family: Tamaricaceae
Botanical Name: Tamarix
Common Names: Athel tree, Athel pine, salt cedar

Foliage: Small deciduous, scale-like, leaves.

Flowers: Feathery plumes of tiny pink or white flowers, on arching branches.

Flowering Period: Spring, summer or early autumn.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (clay, sand or loam). Acid or neutral pH. Dislikes chalk soils.

Conditions: Full sun. Can be grown in aspect, in either a sheltered or exposed location.

Habit: Tall, bushy.

Type: Medium-sized shrub or small tree.

Origin: Europe, Asia and Africa.

Hardiness: Hardy in most mild and coastal regions of the UK.

Planting and Growing Tamarix

Plant outside in early autumn or spring. Container grown plants can be planted out at any reasonable time of year.

Grow in an open sunny position, in any deep, well drained, garden soil. Tolerant of most soils, including poor soils and saline ones but dislikes shallow chalk and heavy clay. They need full sun to flower well.

A good background plant in a shrubbery. Can be grown as an informal hedge. In coastal areas T. gallica can be grown as a windbreak.

Taking Care of Tamarix

Water thoroughly during dry weather until well established. Mulch with organic matter in spring and apply a general fertilizer suitable for shrubs.

Pruning Tamarix

Pruning is not normally necessary except to shape or restrict growth. Late flowering types can be pruned in early spring and the early flowering forms right after flowering.

Pests and Diseases

Generally pest and disease free.

Propagating Tamarix

Sow seed in March-April, in warm greenhouse or propagator. Pot-on and harden off before
planting out in May. Alternatively sow where they are to flower in May.

Semi-ripe cuttings can be taken in summer or hardwood cuttings in winter.

Popular Varieties of Tamarix Grown in the UK

Tamarix aphylla is deciduous shrub with scale-like, gray-green leaves. Bears small, white to pink flowers from March to September. Height to 15 ft (4.6m).

Tamarix parviflora has small rose pink flowers in late spring.

Tamarisk pentandra has dark leaves and deep pink scented blooms in August. The cultivar 'Rubra' has red flowers. 'Pink Cascade' is a darker pink form. Height and spread to 15ft (4.5m).

Tamarix tetrandra has pale pink flowers in spring, before the leaves form. Height and spread to 15ft (4.5m).