Kangaroo Paw: How to Grow and Care for it Properly

Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos) add a touch of elegance and playfulness to any garden or landscape. But it’s not just their beauty that makes them a favorite among gardeners – Kangaroo Paws are also surprisingly easy to grow and care for, making them a perfect addition to both beginner and seasoned gardener’s collections. In this guide, we’ll delve into the secrets of successfully cultivating and nurturing these enchanting plants, from choosing the right variety to providing the ideal growing conditions.

The Beauty and Uniqueness of Kangaroo Paw

Kangaroo Paws, scientifically known as Anigozanthos, are native to the southwestern parts of Australia. These stunning plants get their name from the unique shape of their flowers, which resemble the paws of a kangaroo. The petals of Kangaroo Paws are fuzzy, velvety, and come in a wide array of colors, including red, yellow, orange, pink, and green. The flowers grow on tall stalks, creating a striking display in any garden. What sets Kangaroo Paws apart from other plants is their unusual claw-shaped flowers, which have evolved to attract specific pollinators, such as honeyeater birds. This adaptation makes Kangaroo Paws not only visually appealing but also ecologically significant.

The beauty of Kangaroo Paws extends beyond their flowers. These plants also feature long, slender leaves that add an architectural element to any garden. The leaves are typically green, but some varieties have silver or gray foliage, providing a contrasting backdrop to the vibrant flowers. With their unique combination of colors, shapes, and textures, Kangaroo Paws can effortlessly elevate the aesthetics of any garden or landscape.

Kangaroo Paws are not just visually stunning, but they are also popular for their long-lasting blooms. Unlike many other flowering plants, the flowers of Kangaroo Paws can remain on the plant for several weeks, adding a splash of color to your garden for an extended period. This makes them an excellent choice for those looking to create a vibrant and dynamic display that lasts throughout the season.

Kangaroo Paw

Types and Varieties of Kangaroo Paw

Kangaroo Paws come in various types and varieties, each with its own distinct characteristics. The most commonly cultivated species include Anigozanthos flavidus, Anigozanthos manglesii, and Anigozanthos rufus.

Anigozanthos flavidus, also known as the Tall Kangaroo Paw, is one of the most popular species. It is a perennial plant that can reach a height of up to 1.5 meters. Anigozanthos flavidus produces stunning flowers in shades of yellow, green, and red, making it a favorite among gardeners who prefer a vibrant color palette. This species is also popular for its ability to tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions, making it suitable for various regions.

Anigozanthos manglesii, commonly known as the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw, is another highly sought-after species. As the name suggests, this variety features flowers in shades of red and green, creating a striking contrast. Anigozanthos manglesii is native to Western Australia and is considered the floral emblem of the state. It thrives in Mediterranean climates and is well-suited for coastal gardens.

Anigozanthos rufus, or the Red Kangaroo Paw, is a compact species that grows up to 60 centimeters tall. It produces beautiful red flowers and is popular for its ability to attract native birds. Anigozanthos rufus is drought-tolerant and adapts well to a variety of soil types, making it a versatile choice for many gardeners.

In addition to these species, there are also hybrid Kangaroo Paws available in the market. These hybrids combine the best traits of different species, resulting in unique and visually stunning plants. When selecting a variety, consider the climate and soil conditions in your area, as well as your personal preferences for flower colors and plant size.

Kangaroo Paw

Growing Kangaroo Paw: Soil, Climate, and Location Considerations

Kangaroo Paws are relatively easy to grow, but they do have specific soil, climate, and location requirements to thrive. Understanding these considerations will help ensure the success of your Kangaroo Paw garden.

Soil Requirements

Kangaroo Paws prefer well-draining soil that is slightly acidic to neutral, with a pH range of 6 to 7.5. They are not tolerant of heavy, waterlogged soils, as this can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. To improve soil drainage, incorporate organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure into the soil before planting. This will also help improve the soil’s fertility and moisture-holding capacity.

Climate Considerations

Kangaroo Paws are native to the Mediterranean climate of southwestern Australia, where summers are hot and dry, and winters are mild and wet. They thrive in regions with similar climatic conditions, characterized by long, dry summers and cool, wet winters. However, with the right care and attention, Kangaroo Paws can also be grown in other climates, including coastal areas and regions with a Mediterranean-like climate.

Location and Sunlight

When choosing a location for your Kangaroo Paws, select a spot that receives full sun to light shade. While Kangaroo Paws can tolerate partial shade, they will produce fewer flowers in shadier locations. Ensure that the chosen spot has good air circulation to prevent the development of fungal diseases. Avoid planting Kangaroo Paws in low-lying areas or places prone to waterlogging, as this can lead to root rot.

Caring for Kangaroo Paw: Watering, fertilizing, and pruning tips

Kangaroo Paws are native to the southwestern parts of Australia, where the climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. To successfully grow and care for these stunning plants, it’s important to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible. One key aspect of Kangaroo Paw care is providing the right amount of water. These plants are highly drought-tolerant and prefer sandy, well-draining soil. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s best to water them sparingly and only when the top inch of soil feels dry. During the summer months, when Kangaroo Paws are actively growing, water them deeply once a week. In winter, reduce watering and only do so when the soil feels completely dry.

In addition to proper watering, fertilizing Kangaroo Paws is essential for their overall health and vitality. These plants have relatively low nutrient requirements, so a slow-release, balanced fertilizer applied once a year in spring should be sufficient. Avoid over-fertilization, as excessive nutrients can cause the plant to produce lush foliage at the expense of flower production. When applying fertilizer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it evenly around the base of the plant, avoiding direct contact with the leaves or stems.


Pruning Kangaroo Paws is another important aspect of their care. While these plants are generally low-maintenance, regular pruning can help promote better airflow and reduce the risk of disease. Prune off any dead or damaged leaves or flowers as soon as you notice them. You can also remove spent flower stems to encourage new growth and prolong the blooming period. However, avoid cutting back the entire plant unless it becomes too overgrown or untidy, as this can hinder its ability to regenerate.

Propagating Kangaroo Paws: Seeds vs. Division

If you’re looking to expand your Kangaroo Paw collection or share these beautiful plants with others, there are two main methods of propagation to consider: seeds and division. Growing Kangaroo Paws from seeds can be a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and careful attention to detail. Start by collecting ripe seed pods from mature plants and allow them to dry out completely. Gently remove the seeds from the pods and sow them in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist and place the container in a warm, well-lit area. Germination can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, so be patient and provide the seeds with the right conditions for success.

Division is a quicker and more reliable method of propagating Kangaroo Paws. This technique involves separating the plant into smaller sections, each with its own roots and shoots. To divide a Kangaroo Paw plant, carefully remove it from its container or dig it up from the ground. Using a sharp, sterile knife, divide the clump into smaller sections, making sure each division has a good amount of healthy roots and shoots. Replant the divisions in separate containers or directly into the garden, ensuring they are placed at the same depth as they were before. Water thoroughly and provide the newly divided plants with the same care as mature Kangaroo Paws.

Common pests and diseases of Kangaroo Paw

While Kangaroo Paws are generally resistant to pests and diseases, they can occasionally encounter some common issues. One of the most common pests that can affect these plants is the aphid. Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that can cause stunted growth and deformed flowers. To control aphids, gently wash them off the plant with a strong stream of water or apply an organic insecticidal soap. Another common pest is the snail or slug, which can chew on the leaves and flowers. To deter these pests, create physical barriers such as copper tape or use organic slug pellets.

Kangaroo Paws are also susceptible to certain diseases, such as root rot and fungal leaf spots. Root rot occurs when the soil is overly saturated, leading to the decay of the plant’s roots. To prevent root rot, ensure the soil is well-draining and avoid overwatering. Fungal leaf spots are characterized by dark, circular lesions on the leaves. To control this disease, remove and destroy infected leaves, and avoid overhead watering, which can promote fungal growth. It’s also a good practice to provide adequate spacing between plants to improve air circulation and reduce the risk of disease.


Conclusion: Bringing a touch of Australia to your garden

Growing and caring for Kangaroo Paws can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. These enchanting plants not only add a touch of exotic beauty to your garden but also require minimal maintenance. By providing the right growing conditions, such as well-draining soil, proper watering, and fertilizing, you can enjoy the vibrant colors and unique shapes of Kangaroo Paws year after year. Whether you choose to propagate them from seeds or through division, these plants will surely captivate your senses and bring a touch of Australia to your garden.

Before you go, you really need to learn more about the health benefits of Crocus Sativus (Saffron).

Other Flowers and Plants


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *