The following planting guidelines will assist you in achieving the best results for all proteas, leucadendrons, leucospermums, grevillea, banksia and waratahs. The family of proteaceae have some very specific requirements, but if you get the planting right, they are one of the lowest maintenance and most rewarding of garden shrubs.
  •  This family of plants must have good drainage and will tolerate from sandy through to clay soils as long as the drainage is good.
  • They will not tolerate phosphates and nitrates commonly found in all garden manures. They like an acid soil with an extremely low nutrient value. So do not fertilize. Do not plant near other plants that will disperse food in the soil. Very old plants that are well established will find a small amount of urea or low p “native garden” slow release beneficial in autumn. Sheep pellets [low NPK] can be used when additional organic matter is appropriate.
  • A windy position is preferable or at least positioned with good air movement around the plant.
  • Plants should be well staked at planting to avoid root rock.
  • These plants love a full sun position and once established require little (if any) summer watering. Unless drought conditions arise, no summer watering is necessary as the plants take all the moisture they require from the morning dew. New plantings will need to be monitored to ensure sufficient moisture during the first summer, but should not have water more frequently than weekly in the evening.
  • The recommended planting time is autumn to early spring.
  • After the first flowering we advise pruning ½ to ¾ of the flowering stems annually. If you want a larger plant, lighter pruning can be applied.
  • This family of plants is shallow rooting and does not enjoy being dug or forked around. It is best to mulch with bark [which is acidic] to avoid weeding or carefully weed spray around the plants. Planting in lawned areas is beneficial as the plant root zones are protected.
  • Do not disturb the root system when planting. Just cut off the bag and place in the hole. Rocks or scoria may be added for improved drainage and stability but not lime rock. A few handfuls of peat may be added and mixed with soil in the hole to improve acidity.
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