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Kangaroo paw, unlike any other flower, features long, club-shape buds covered in coarse hairs that are a deeper color than the flower itself. Only the tip of the bud fully opens as the petals split into six pieces and reflex backward. The inside of the flower is usually a greenish white. Kangaroo paw comes in a rainbow of colors with tall stems of blossoms that make a great cut flower for bouquets. With 12 species to choose from in this genus, plant size varies from only a few inches tall to upward of 6 feet tall. While the blossoms are quite small, they bloom in large quantities on well-branched stems.
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From 1 to 8 feet
garden plans for Kangaroo paw
Growing Kangaroo Paw
This Australian native plant is often hard to find in garden centers so buy it when you find it as it makes a great addition to the garden. Whether you plan on growing kangaroo paw in a pot or in the ground, this plant will thrive in well-drained soil. Kangaroo paw is a rhizomatous plant, meaning it produces an underground stem that can be prone to rotting in wet soil. If you are planning on growing it in the ground, it will do best in sandy soil. It does like to be kept evenly moist, especially when flowering, otherwise the buds may dry out. When growing kangaroo paw in a container, use a general purpose or gritty potting mix. Throughout the growing season, be sure to fertilize occasionally or apply a slow-release fertilizer to encourage lots of blossoms.
Kangaroo paw flourishes in full sun. This ensures it puts on the most blossoms and helps taller varieties stand on their own. Full sun also helps keep the leaves dry as most of the diseases affecting kangaroo paw are fungal in nature.
While this plant is fairly low maintenance, it will thrive and last as long as possible when you follow a few tips. Varieties that have a definite flowering season (and are not everbloomers) will benefit if you cut back the stems right after they bloom and trim back any blossom stalks. This can help remove any diseased and dead foliage. Because of its rhizomatous nature, kangaroo paw will bounce back quickly. Do not trim smaller varieties that bloom continuously as they don't store much energy underground and cutting back stems could be harmful. For smaller types, remove any fans of foliage along with bloom stalks. Divide kangaroo paw every few years to help promote vigorous growth.