Celebrated as the national flower of South Africa, the enchanting King Protea is highly sought after as an exotic and adaptable ornamental. Once numerous in the wild, the species is now most commonly found in botanical gardens and amongst collectors.
An evergreen woody shrub, usually growing to only 3-4ft, but sometimes up to 6-7ft. The huge flowers can grow to 10-12" wide and are fairly long-lived. They are also prized as cut flowers as they retain their blooms after removed from the plant. Flowers may bloom on and off for much of the year, with a concentration in warmer months. In their native habit, King Protea's are found in a variety of colors, ranging from whites to pinks and reds.
Hardy to around 10-15F.
King Protea does well in both cool and foggy subtropical climates as well as warmer tropical climates. It will stand some frost and the occasional freeze. Grow in full sun and water moderately. The bushes do not need heavy watering when established. Grow in well-drained soil.
By seeds or cuttings. Seeds should be planted in warm, well-drained soil and kept at 70-85F. They generally take several weeks to germinate. Small plants should be protected from direct sun and low humidity.
Grown for its ornamental beauty and as a cut flower for arrangements.
Native to scrublands and woodland areas of South Africa, near the Cape. King Protea is one of the most widely distributed of the Protea species and grows naturally along hillsides and throughout some of South Africa's mountains.
Sugar Bush Protea