Grevilleas are sometimes used as showy accent plants in waterwise gardens. While adapted to low water use, they primarily come from areas of acidic clay soil in their native Australia which means they can be challenging to grow in the many areas of southern California with quickly draining slightly alkaline soil. They tend to turn yellowish due to lower availability of calcium in the soil than the soils with which they had evolved. Although Moonlight grevillea does seem to be potentially less prone to this issue than some other common grevilleas, it is usually only available from nurseries in larger (15 gallon and larger) container sizes, so if you would like to plant it, be prepared to pay more for it than you would likely need to for other shrubs in your landscape.
We include the plant on this site, primarily as a reference, and because these plants are often purchased at nurseries when people see their flowers, but then do not know how to care for them.
Unless you are a dedicated ornamental gardener, we recommend that most people plant a colorful blooming California native shrub that will be easier to grow in local gardens instead. Hummingbirds and some pollinators will use the flowers of Grevilleas so they do provide some habitat value, but many native shrub choices will provide greater overall habitat value while being easier to grow. Some top choices to consider instead include toyon, sugar bush, lemonade berry, and island bush poppy.
Moonlight grevillea is a robust evergreen shrub that grows with an upright habit 10-12 ft. tall and 6-8 ft. wide. Finely cut leaves are medium green, pinnately divided into long linear segments with sharp points that produce a feathery foliage appearance. Large cylindrical inflorescences of ivory-color flowers grow 6 in. long and provide striking accent character during winter and intermittently throughout the year.
This large grevillea offers unique foliage character and flower color in comparison to other Grevilleas. It is a fast growing plant that is used in background areas or for screening. It grows well in full sun to areas with afternoon shade, and low amounts of supplemental water. It’s flowers produce nectar that attracts birds to the garden; it is a relatively low maintenance and easy care plant.