Kangaroo Paw

This perennial is sure to add flair to your garden.

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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.

Kangaroo Paw Overview

Genus Name Anigozanthos
Common Name Kangaroo Paw
Plant Type Annual, Perennial
Light Sun
Height 1 to 3 feet
Width 1 to 4 feet
Flower Color Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Fall Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Drought Tolerant

Kangaroo Paw Care Must-Knows

This Australian native plant is often hard to find in garden centers, so buy it when you find it as it makes an unusual and exciting 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. It 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 because 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.

More Varieties of Kangaroo Paw

'Bush Pearl' Kangaroo Paw

anigozanthos bush pearl kangaroo paw
Denny Schrock

A prolific bloomer, this variety boasts loads of silvery-pink blossoms almost nonstop. Great in containers. Zones 10-11

'Cape Aurora' Kangaroo Paw

anigozantho kanga yellow kangaroo paw
Justin Hancock

A taller variety with long stems of fuzzy yellow flowers in spring and summer. Zones 10-11

Kanga series Kangaroo Paw

anigozanthos kanga burgundy kangaroo paw
Justin Hancock

With their compact habit of 16–20 inches tall, these plants look great in containers and bloom almost nonstop in colors of burgundy, yellow, orange, red, and pink. Zones 10–11

Kangaroo Paw Companion Plants

Daylily

daylily hemerocallis little grapette
Peter Krumhardt

Daylilies are so easy to grow you'll often find them growing in ditches and fields, escapees from gardens. And yet they look so delicate, producing glorious trumpet-shaped blooms in myriad colors. In fact, there are some 50,000 named hybrid cultivars in a range of flower sizes (the minis are very popular), forms, and plant heights. Some are fragrant. The flowers are borne on leafless stems. Although each bloom lasts but a single day, superior cultivars carry numerous buds on each scape so bloom time is long, especially if you deadhead daily. The strappy foliage may be evergreen or deciduous.

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