Alert: Limited Online Availability

Now that summer is here, we must limit our stock of plants available for online purchase. Please visit your local garden center or consider pre-ordering for 2023, available later this year.

We no longer grow this plant.
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Variegated New Zealand Christmas Tree

Metrosideros excelsa 'Gala'

Green and gold variegated leaves are a dramatic backdrop for the rich crimson flowers that cover the plant. Nectar attracts birds and insects. Excellent as a mass planting, hedge or specimen plant. Evergreen.
There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Learn More

Your climate might be too cold for this plant:


Full sun

Needs regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.


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LoreBecause these plants bloom at Christmas time in their homeland of New Zealand, they were named Christmas tree by the Maori who also use the plants in their folk medicine.
Average Size at MaturityRounded shrub 5 to 6 ft. tall and wide.
Bloom TimeLate Winter through Summer
Design IdeasSize and color make this the perfect foundation shrub for covering up both low vents and utilities as well as higher up meters and boxes. Dense habit is ideal for natural hedges and privacy screens that need no shearing. Even works as a windscreen for tight spaces. Prune to a single or multiple trunk for high profile patio tree. Pruning makes it equally suited to large containers as a patio tree. Valuable nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies makes it vital in tropical settings too. An all around shrub for problem solving in coastal landscapes, beach houses and on palisades where persistent breeze, salt spray and mild drought are common.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower AttributeShowy Flowers
Flower ColorRed
Foliage ColorVariegated
Garden StyleMediterranean, Tropical
Growth HabitRound
Growth RateModerate
Landscape UsePrivacy Screen, Windbreak, Coastal Exposure
Light NeedsFull sun
Soil NeedsTree & Shrub Food
Special FeatureAttracts Hummingbirds, Dramatic Foliage Color, Tolerates Acidic Soil, Tolerates Alkaline Soil, Tolerates Poor Soils, Year-round Interest
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsNeeds regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
Companion PlantsAbelia (Abelia); Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea); New Zealand Flax (Phormium); Fringe Flower (Loropetalum); Cape Mallow (Anisodontea)

Thrives in average, loamy to sandy, well-drained soils. Follow a regular schedule of deep waterings during first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, water deeply, less frequently. Feed with an all-purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For neat appearance, shear after flowering.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 9-11

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Map

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant