The King proteas (Protea cynaroides) is probably the best known member of the larger plant family called Proteaceae which includes other well known plants like pin cushions (Leucospermums) and cone bushes (Leucadendrons) amongst many others. A large number of these plants originate from the Cape Fynbos floral kingdom. Numerous hybrids and garden selections are grown today and plenty have adapted to growing in different climatic conditions. Today we find a broad range of these plants growing in the KZN Midlands and surrounding areas where they grow quite happily once established. Watering young newly planted protea plants is the key to their establishment as drying out just once is catastrophic. Well drained soil is also paramount. A wide range of different proteas and their relatives are available through autumn and winter. Their magnificent blooms attract birds and insects.

HANDY HINT – Never add fertiliser or compost to the planting holes for proteas and other plants belonging to the same family. They are damaged by excessive levels of phosphate in the soil. If needs be use peat moss or acid compost to improve the aeration of poorly drained soils, nothing else.