From the summer rainfall regions of South Africa comes this wonderful large shrub or small tree which produces its flower-heads in summer and autumn. These vary in colour from carmine pink to orange-pink to creamy white. With an upright, bushy, evergreen habit, it generally gets to 2–5 m high with a single trunk of finally up to 300 mm in diameter. A late flowerer, it produces noticeably more flowers in mid to late summer. In the wild it grows on rocky sandstone slopes in the Drakensberg Escarpment near Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga. It is one of the rarer proteas and is now believed to be extinct in Lesotho. Proteas require extremely well-drained soil which is both acidic and very low in nutrients, fertiliser containing excess phosphates or nitrates may kill them! Proteas should not be fed with standard liquid feeds. Protea feed is available from specialist stockists. As a rule proteas prefer full sun on a south facing slope in an open unshaded position.
Seeds germinate best at around 12C. Proteas thrive in low nutrient soil consisting of 2 parts coarse sand and 2 parts peat and, if available, with added rotted and decomposed leaves. They do not thrive in any medium with high levels of phosphates. HINT: Smoke can stimulate germination. Screw up a page of newspaper, then set it alight outside. Beat it out when half burned away. Shake off the burned portions and mix into the compost.
Common name:waterlily sugarbush
Classification:Half hardy shrub, Half hardy perennial
Packet Content:4 (Approx)