Have you been Hoodwinked?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | Regina Downes | Comments (0)

 Have you been sold a plant that didn't do what it was suppose to? Did that tropical fruit tree you bought, ever set fruit? Did that Hydrangea plant you bought ever end up producing those large clusters of flowers you were promised? This short blog is based on the continuing trade of plants that are sold here in Darwin but are not suitable for our climate. 

I continually get customer’s ringing me asking me why their ‘Tropical Apple’ has not fruited yet? Or why hasn’t there beautiful Jacaranda tree flowered and it's ALL because Tropical Apples do not fruit here in Darwin despite what the shop assistant is telling you! It’s the same with Jacaranda trees, they will never flower here so please stop praying for it to flower-it's not you! it's mother nature.


I can hear you all say, well why do the plant shops sell us these plants then? Because it’s called bottom dollar my friend-all they care about is making the next sale. If they cared enough about you, the customer, they would tell you the plant does not flower or fruit here or better still they would not sell the plant in the first place. So next time you buy that new ‘Tropical Fruit Tree’ make sure you ask; does it fruit in Darwin or wherever you live? In the case of the purple flowering Jacaranda tree; why not ask the shop assistant next time can she/he point you in the direction of one already planted in Darwin? After all, Darwin is a small place and if a Jacaranda tree was flowering in Darwin, trust me in would be on Nine News and it would make the front page of the NT News newspaper, it’s that fabulous when it does flower.


So don’t be Hoodwinked when it comes to buying plants you are a little unsure of, that do well in the Top End, always ask (I know right, why the hell should you have to!) And if you do get ‘Hoodwinked’ march right back to that establishment and demand your money back! 

Below are a few plants that I can assure you do not (fruit or/and flower) in the Darwin area and are available for purchase locally.

(Some will fruit/flower south of Batchelor on the Katherine side)                                                                      


  • Litchi chinensis
  • Native to Southern China.
  • Mouth-watering delicious fruit; sweet tasting, used in Sangaria and other tropical drinks.    
  • Requires low temperatures to set fruit. Can be grown south from Katherine, NT.



  • Macadamia integrifolia
  • Macadamia nut-Australian native, grown as a commercial crop
  • Requires low temperatures to set fruit.
  • Beautiful tree even if it doesn’t fruit. Can be grown south from Batchelor, NT.


  • Olea europaea
  • Beautiful tree with green/greyish foliage.
  • Grown in the NT for its pretty foliage not its fruit.
  • Requires low temperatures to set fruit


  • Peach trees; require a cold climate to set fruit & flower.
  • They will not fruit in the NT.
  • Most stone fruits cannot grow in our tropical climate, they require a cold spell.




  • Jacaranda mimosifolia
  • I think it was Anne Bailey that said it best “when you first see a Jacaranda tree you think it was something out of a fairy-tale” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
  • It really is remarkable when you see it for the first time. Its bright dazzling flowers make it mesmerizing.
  • Eventually it will grow to a height of about 20m when fully mature.
  • It does require a cold climate to flower and will not flower in the NT.



  • Common Hydrangeas that at various times of the year can be purchased from our local chain store supermarket (which I cannot mention for legal reasons).
  • Do not grow well in Darwin's climate at all, these have all been shipped up from southern nurseries. I have heard of smaller growing Hybrid Hydrangeas that do grow here in our climate but I have yet to see them for myself.


Pictured centre-Jacaranda mimosifolia


Feel free to contact us at Online Plants NT or comment below if you have any questions regarding any plants you are thinking about buying and would like to know if they flower or fruit here and we will be happy to help you. 


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