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.
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 care for kangaroo paw
Water the soil well during spring and summer, but avoid foliage.
Slow-release fertiliser during spring and winter.
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.
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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