The natural distribution is in the warm humid to warm sub-humid climatic zones. However, the species has performed well when introduced to a much wider range of climates. In its native range mean annual precipitation is 700-2000 mm and mean annual temperature is 15-20°C.
Towards the hotter extremes of the tolerated temperature range, the dry season should be no longer than 4 months for good growth. Grevillea robusta performs poorly in lowland tropical environments where mean annual temperature exceeds 23°C, and very wet locations where annual rainfall exceeds 2000 mm.
Grevillea robusta has some resistance to frost. During the winter months in temperate latitudes, it can survive temperatures down to minus 8°C with little or no damage, but milder frosts of only minus 2°C or so will cause damage during the growing season. Low-intensity ground fires will kill seedlings and young trees. It cannot withstand severe gales or persistent strong winds without damage to the branches.
Grevillea robusta prefers rather fertile soils such as those derived from river alluvia or basalts but will grow on shallower less fertile soils derived from sedimentary material. The pH range for good growth is around 4.5 to 7.5. Best growth is obtained on sandy loam, loam and clay loam textures. Heavy clay soils and prolonged waterlogging are not tolerated.