What is Kangaroo Paw?
Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos x hybrid) is a clump forming evergreen perennial. It is part of the Haemodoraceae family and is native to Western Australia. They grow from rhizomes that produce long strappy leaves that are dark green in colour. The flowers are tall stems that end in a furry claw shape flower which is where the plant gets it’s name as it resembles a kangaroo’s paw. Each “finger” is a tubular flower that is filled with nectar which is great for our wildlife. The flowers come in a variety of colours such as cream, green, yellow, orange or red. Flowers are produced mainly during Spring and Summer however there are varieties that flower for most of the year. Kangaroo Paw like a full sun to part shade position in the garden with well draining soil.
There are two types of Kangaroo Paw, tall varieties and short. The taller varieties are more adaptable to their surrounds and will tolerate a broader range of soil and climate types. They are the easiest to grow. The smaller varieties are better seen as short lived perennials and are more suited to pots. They usually flower all year round however they are not as tough and will require more care than their taller friends.
Benefits of Growing Kangaroo Paw
Kangaroo Paw is an essential plant for the Australia style garden. With their unique flower style and their ability to attract native birds, they are best planted en masse to give the wow factor when in bloom. Kangaroo Paws makes a good cut flower as they remain fresh for weeks. They are an excellent plant for rockeries or containers.
How to Grow Kangaroo Paw
Cool, temperate, arid, semi arid.
Sizes vary. Some varieties are less than 50cm high while others can reach to more than 2m.
When To Plant Kangaroo Paw
Plant anytime. If growing from seed sow during Spring, Summer, Autumn.
They are usually happy with most soil types but require a well drained soil.
How To Plant Kangaroo Paw
Plant in full sun to part shade and plant at pot level. Spacing sizes vary depending on variety.
Kangaroo Paw Plant Care
Regular watering during peak growth times. Only water when the soil appears dry, then water until damp. Do not over water. Watering at the base of the plant helps prevent diseases such as Ink Disease from developing on the leaves.
Annually fertilise with a controlled release fertiliser balanced for native plants.
Remove any leaves that are looking damaged or diseased. Remove flowers as they finish. After flowering has finished and foliage is looking tired you can cut the tall varieties right back to ground level.
Prone to ink disease which shows as a blackening of the foliage and can kill the plant. Treat with fungicide as early as possible.
Watch out for snails.
New plants can also be produced by dividing established clumps. Do this in Spring or early Autumn. Lift the plants out of the ground, split into sections, wash off the old soil and pot into fresh mix. Leave in pots for a few months to re-establish.
Recommended Kangaroo Paw Varieties
This unique flowering plant is hardy and low maintenance. It attracts native wildlife into your garden. A must for any native garden.