Garden

How to grow kangaroo paws

They’re a knockout in the wild and you can make them a knockout in your garden, too!
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Of all the unique and distinctive plants that make up the Australian native landscape, perhaps none is more intriguing than the kangaroo paw. 

Mass plantings of distinctive kangaroo paws come alive during spring and summer. Don’t have room in your garden? Put them in pots instead.

How to grow Kangaroo paw

Many natives defy the conventional flower arrangement of petals surrounding the central collection of stamens and stigma –and it’s this arrangement that makes them a standout. 

Paws have a particular floral structure that’s so architectural. So whether in a garden bed, a pot or as part of a flower arrangement, make them a pleasurable presence in your gardening life.

how to grow kangaroo paw
(Credit: Getty)

Types of kangaroo paw

Kangaroo paws traditionally come in signature green and red colours that have been featured on stamps and are the floral emblem of Western Australia. But breeders have been hard at work during the past few decades. 

Not only can they now cope beyond the unique conditions of dry, southern Western Australia from where they come, they also now surprise in a glorious variety of colours – including the deepest oranges and most vibrant yellows. They come as miniatures or tall and proud above their strappy foliage. Plus, they can cope with cold or east coast humidity, making them an exciting addition to any garden!

how to grow kangaroo paw
(Credit: Getty)

How to care for kangaroo paw

Aspect 

Sunny.

Soil 

Well drained.

Watering 

Water the soil well during spring and summer, but avoid foliage.

Food 

Slow-release fertiliser during spring and winter.

Pruning 

Trim leaves to 4-5cm after flowering.

Pests and diseases 

Snails and a fungus that appears as ‘inkspots’ and then turns leaves black. The best solution is to trim leaves after flowering. 

how to grow kangaroo paw
(Credit: Getty)

Fun facts about kangaroo paw

  • The fine hairs that cover the flowering parts of kangaroo paws have a weird taste that repels foragers. They also collect morning dew for moisture in a dry climate. 
  • The stems, which can reach 1m, are very sturdy – this allows pollinators such as honey eaters or wattle birds to perch on them.

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The essential guide to Australian native plants

5 edible Australian native plants you can grow at home

The ultimate guide to Australian native flowers

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