Proteas thrive in low maintenance, low water use gardens. Enjoying the same conditions as natives, Proteas complement the Australian native landscape and a wide variety of garden styles. Suitable in courtyards, terraces and large properties, Proteas provide year-round colour with the added bonus of spectacular cut flowers.
To ensure you get the most out of your Proteas, we recommend reading the growing advice articles below.
1. Soil. Plants often grow best where the soil pH is similar to their conditions of origin. Proteas prefer to grow in acidic soils as this reflects the conditions where they originate in South Africa and Australia. The majority of Proteaflora products need an acidic soil with a pH level around 5.5.
The key to pruning Proteas is to only prune the stems that have flowered that year. Because Proteas flower on a two year cycle, the stems that have not flowered in one year, will flower the following year. If you prune all stems every year, you will not see any flowers.
Pruning allows you to shape the plant and encourage new growth and flowers for the following year. In the case of Leucadendrons, these are some of the easiest and most forgiving varieties in terms of time of pruning and how heavily you can cut them back.
Managing water is essential for successfully establishing your plant. Ensuring your plant has sufficient water will help in growing its spectacular flowers. If your plant goes for long periods without water, you may see the flower buds turn brown and fail to produce flowers.
1. Watering. The watering frequency depends on the prevailing conditions and whether your variety is listed as tolerates dryness. Plants labelled ‘tolerates dryness’ don’t need much attention at all except if there are extended periods without rain.
The ideal time to pot up your plant is late autumn – early spring as the weather is cooler. It is key to remember to pot up every year. When you’re looking for the perfect pot, choose one which is no more than double that of the original pot.
Proteas and Natives are sensitive to phosphorus which is the base of most general fertilizers. We recommend you only plant in old flower beds if no phosphorus fertiliser has been previously used. Proteas are best grown away from plants which require regular feeding.