Red kangaroo paw growing in a black pot

Kangaroo Paw Plants How to Grow & Care

Kangaroo Paw Plants Growing from Seeds for the Garden

Red kangaroo paw growing in a black potIf you are wondering as to why the colourful blossoming Kangaroo paws are called so, then it is due to the shape of its flower. The Kangaroo paws flowers look like a replica of the paws of the Kangaroo. It is becoming a very popular flowering plant in many of the home gardens across Australia. The Australian native flower has appeared on many stamps and also is seen as the floral emblem of West Australia. There are 12 different species of Kangaroo paws wherein 11 of them belong to the Anigozanthos genus. Kangaroo paws can grow to 2 metres tall when in full bloom.

More About Kangaroo Paws Plants

The Kangaroo paws are evergreen perennial plants that add value and look to the garden. They can tolerate a wide range of climates and growing conditions including frosts. It is common to see them growing down the street nowadays. These plants only used to be seen in the drought-prone West Australian regions. The genus of the Kangaroo paw is Anigozanthos and it belongs to the family Haemodoraceae. The other common name of the plant is cat’s paw.

The plants show rhizomatous growth and grow from a rhizome or a modified root and the strap leaves are stiff and upright. The flowers attract the nectar loving honeyeaters with their range of coloured flowers from green to various shades of yellow, red and even pink or creamy white these days. The weather and the light conditions have a telling effect on the colour of the flower. The flowers are velvety and have clear finger-like projections with dense hair coating. They open at the top and have six claw structure.

How to Grow Kangaroo Paws in the Garden

  1. The Kangaroo paws love full sun and well drained and slightly acidic soil.
  2. They can grow in different kinds of soil and habitats.
  3. They need exposure to the sun and placing them in an area where there is lots of sunshine is ideal for flower growth.
  4. It is better that they get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight in a day.
  5. They grow well in containers.
  6. Adding some sort of organic potting soil with the regular soil is more than enough for the Kangaroo paws to grow.

How to Grow Kangaroo Paws from Seeds

  1. Kangaroo paws seeds can be planted in pots or containers with seedling growing mix in summer or spring.
  2. Cover the seeds lightly and firm them down then thoroughly water them in.
  3. To keep the seeds from drying out, keep the soil moist during this period.
  4. Allow four weeks for the seedlings to grow. 
  5. Make sure that the soil has the necessary fertilisation and the organic soil mix to ensure the strong growth of the plant.
  6. Before transplanting in the ground allow seedlings to grow to a height of around 5 cm tall.
  7. Make sure seedlings are at least 30 to 40 cm apart when transplanting them into your created garden bed. 
  8. Mulch carefully with organic mulch, keeping the mulch away from the plant’s base then thoroughly water.

The seeds can be grown indoors if you are planting them in a cold climate region.
The plant must be exposed to indirect sunlight when growing indoors. 

Care for Kangaroo Paws Plants

The plant needs less water than the other garden plants. Avoid overwatering to prevent root and crown rot. Watering the plant when the top soil gets dry is ideal. Kangaroo paws will need more water during the summer and springtime.

Prune the plant after the plant has completed blooming. Pruning it heavily will help in better blooms next time. The old foliage and the stalk must be cut off.

It is a good idea to repot the container plants once in a year to offer better growing conditions. Adding a cup or two of the compost to the soil during replanting is ideal.
Watch for snails and slugs they like to eat the leaves of the newly grown clumps. Kangaroo paws are easily divided and transplanted when they get too big.

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