Protea Plants and Flowers
Protea plants and species are available for sale online, as well from good retail nurseries.
Protea are popular both as an outstanding garden plant as well as for use as cut flowers. Species include P.nerifolia, P.repens, P.cynaroides or ‘King protea’ and P. magnifica.
With many colorful hybrids some are suited to growing in containers, while others make excellent hedging plants.
Protea flowers are long lasting and spectacular and proteas are fairly easy to grow given plenty of light and good drainage.
Species such as P. cyranoides is one of the largest and most spectacular flowering species are popular as are the many new named cultivars that have been releases over the years.
Protea (Proteaceae) are one of the oldest groups of flowering plants. Naturally found in the southern and south western coastal mountain ranges of South Africa and along the southern and south western coastal areas of Australia.
It is interesting that no genus is common to both Countries. Colorful and tough, protea are long flowering and easy to grow, however the genus is larger and worth exploring.
The family Proteaceae has four main genus
- Protea – Large leathery bracts (modified leaves) that look like petals, surround the flowers
- Leucodendron – Large colourful bracts are the showy part, they actually conceal the flower at the tip in red, yellow and orange.
- Leucospermum – Large pincushion like flowers with long conspicuous styles protruding from the flower head.
- Serruria – Usually fine leaves with small hairy flowers partially concealed by colourful bracts.
All require an open sunny position and excellent drainage. They grow well in poor soils and tolerate coastal conditions well.
Nearly all are drought tolerant once established. All are very low care, pruning after flowering each year is all that they really need.
All proteas are hardy and require little water once established in the garden, they do need good drainage and plenty of sun. Proteas can be pruned by cutting back spent flower heads, do not prune the none flowering shoots, these are next years flowers.
Potted plants will require regular water, but a free draining potting mix. Fertilize potted plants wi th a slow release Australian Native Plant Fertilizer (these are low phosphorous).
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