Kangaroo paws ( Anigozanthos )

This is a plant that had been on my wish list of plants to locate for years. I first saw them in a magazine and thought what an amazingly cool plant. Those flowers are like none I’ve seen. Then a little bit back I was out buying mulch and saw them way across the store. I immediately went over, mowing down several employees on the way, and grabbed two plants. After arriving home and spreading the mulch I took out my prizes to plant. I pulled the tag and in bold capitalized print on the back it read “KEEP FROM HUMIDITY”. Are they kidding? This is Houston!

I was telling my tale of woe to several gardeners and was told many people grow them in Houston successfully in pots. Mine are in the ground we shall see how they fare.

They are native to Australia and want as much sun as you can give them and water them only a bit more than you would a cactus. Water a little more during the summer to get more flowers.  Even in the wild they only live 3 to 5 years, so think of these as a short term additions to your garden.

Kangaroo paws should grow to between 2′-3′ tall and spread out a bit. Bottom temperature is about 40’F, after that it dies back to the ground and may or may not reappear come spring. The hotter and drier it is the happier it will be. It is prone to fungal infections so keep an eye on it.

Flowers come in yellow, red, green, green and bicolored.

These plants are well loved by birds.

Watch out for ink disease which will turn foliage black.

Flavidus is considered to be the hardiest of the species.

These died a couple of months after I planted them.

2 thoughts on “Kangaroo paws ( Anigozanthos )

  1. I like the Kangaroo paws – I hope you meet with success in growing them. They have gorgeous blooms.

    The idea of planting Amaryllis outside is a hard one for me to grasp.

  2. It took me a while too. I threw out my amaryllis bulbs after they bloomed the first two years I lived here.

    Then I was at a plant sale one day and saw the locals planted them outdoors and I had one of those duh! moments.

    I’ve really gotten to like them outside. It’s not quite the same at the tulips and daffodils and all up north but they are huge! And bloom for a very long time.

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