How to Grow Protea - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Grassy Category   /   2022

Protea, also known as sugarbushes, are a genus of flowering plants native to South Africa. Protea plants are characterized by their large, showy flowers and leathery leaves. The most popular species of protea is the king protea, which is the national flower of South Africa.

How to Grow Protea - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Protea plant? If you have the right conditions, Proteas are not difficult to grow. They like full sun, good drainage, and a slightly acidic soil. Once they are established, they are quite drought tolerant. Proteas are also relatively pest and disease free

Plant Size

How big can it be? The reason I’m giving two measurements is that Protea plants can be either indoor or outdoor plants. When they are indoor plants, they typically only grow to be about 50-60 cm. However, when they are outdoor plants, they can grow to be about 2 m tall.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? So, it is best to fertilize your protea every two to three weeks with a well-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. For example, a 10-10-10 fertilizer would work well. Also, make sure to water your protea regularly, as they do not like to dry out.

Protea Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Grassy
Family Proteaceae
Origin In total there are about 100 species in the genus Protea, common in southern Africa. The largest of them – artichoke or royal protea (Protea cinaroides) is chosen as the national symbol of South Africa. In our stores, the proteus is often called an “African rose”.

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The protea plant is a perennial, which means it will live for several years. However, it can also be used as an annual in some gardens. If you live in an area with a cold climate, it is best to plant protea in the spring so it has time to establish itself before the first frost.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? The optimum content for Protea plants in summer is + 68-77 ° F, in winter it is desirable about +10, but not below + 41 ° F. The plant can even transfer frosts to 28,4 ° F, but it is better not to abuse its resistance. At high temperatures in winter, flowering will be problematic.


What about the humidity? Sometimes, the protea plant is also called the sugarbush. It is a flowering plant that is found in South Africa. The protea plant prefers dry air and high humidity is harmful to it. The protea plant easily tolerates even being close to heating devices.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? The Protea plant is a native of South Africa and is a member of the Proteaceae family. It is an evergreen shrub that can grow to be anywhere between 3 and 10 feet tall. The Protea plant has dark green, leathery leaves, and its flowers can be white, pink, or red. The Protea plant is typically found in the wild, but it can also be grown in gardens. When it comes to lighting, the Protea plant prefers bright, diffused light. If the plant is placed on a southern-facing window, shading will be required. Insufficient illumination can lead to problems with flowering, so in cloudy weather or in winter, phytolamps are often used for backlighting.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Protea? known as South Africa's national flower, the Protea is a unique and stunning plant. The soil for growing protea must be acidic, well-drained, and rich in organic matter. Protea prefer full sun but can tolerate some light shade. The plants are drought tolerant but will flower best with regular watering.

Watering Time

How much I must water Protea? Common problems are over and underwatering. It's hard to tell how much water your protea needs because it's different depending on the season, the kind of protea, the weather, the size of the pot, and the type of potting mix. In general, proteas need more water in summer and less in winter. They like a potting mix that drains well but still holds some moisture. The best way to find out how often to water your protea is to stick your finger in the potting mix. If it's dry, it's time to water. If it's wet, wait a few days.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Because Proteas prefer poor soils, they don't need frequent fertilizing. What they do need is periodic acidification of the soil. Fertilizers that contain phosphorus are not very suitable. You can use nitrogen fertilizers (diluting them in 3 times) or special top dressing for azaleas, diluting them in half with respect to the recommended dose.


How to reproduce Protea? When trying to propagate Protea, it is often difficult to achieve success. One of the most common ways to propagate protea is by apical cuttings. Apical cuttings are cuttings that are taken from the tips of stems. These cuttings are usually about 10 cm long. In order to increase the chances of the cutting taking root, it is important to plant the cutting in a mixture of peat and perlite. The temperature should be kept at +71.6 to +75.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Another way to propagate protea is by seed, but it is important to note that if propagating in this way, it will be 5 to 6 years before the plant blooms. Seeds are typically sown around the end of February. In order to accelerate germination, the seeds can be kept for two months in moist sand in the refrigerator at a temperature of around +50 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the seeds have been in the refrigerator for two months, they can be kept in warm water for one day. After the seeds have been in warm water, they can be planted in a mixture of peat and sand. The pot should be covered with glass. Germination typically occurs at a temperature of +71.6 to +77 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can take a long time, from one month to several months. When the first leaves appear, the glass can be removed and the plant placed in an area with scattered light. Watering should be done very carefully so that water does not fall on the sprouts. At first, growth is very slow, but then it becomes a bit more intense. Once the seedlings have 2 to 3 leaves, they can be planted separately.


Why Protea won't bloom? If you’re hoping to add a splash of color to your garden, you can’t go wrong with protea flowers. Protea plants are native to South Africa, and their flowers come in a variety of colors, including pink, red, and purple. The flowers are large and cone-shaped, and they’re typically surrounded by smaller, tube-shaped flowers. Protea plants can reach up to 6 feet tall, and they prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

Caring The Protea

How to care the plant? Sometimes, people think that they can just leave protea plants in the ground and they will take care of themselves. However, this is not the case. Although they are tough plants, they still need to be taken care of in order to stay healthy and look their best. Here are some tips on how to take care of protea plants: -Protea plants should be transplanted every year when they are young, and every 3-4 years when they are adults. -When transplanting, be careful not to damage the earth clod. -The maximum pot diameter for a protea plant should be 35 cm. -It is best to use a wide, low ceramic dish. -Protea plants need good air circulation, so it is best to put them on a balcony in the summer. -Trim off faded inflorescences and the tips of shoots. -In the spring, shoots should be shortened by about a quarter.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Protea plant? While it is resistant to pests, it can be affected by aphids, phytophthora, black leg. If the leaves are yellow, this suggests that the substrate is too alkaline. In this case, you need to pour the soil with acidified water.


What is the benefit of the plant? Unless you have allergies to this plant, it can be used in many ways including as a decoration, cough remedy, and more. The plant is widely used in floristry, because cut flowers last for 2-3 weeks. Also it is possible to make compositions from the dried colors of the protein. Nectar of artichoke protein is used in the homeland of the plant as a cough remedy.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Protea poisonous? known as sugarbushes, are a genus of flowering plants native to South Africa. They are large shrubs or small trees growing to 2–5 m tall, with leathery, evergreen leaves 10–20 cm long and 5–15 cm wide. The flowers are produced in large, dense heads 5–20 cm in diameter, surrounded by large, fleshy, brightly coloured bracts. The flowers themselves are small and tubular, generally white, pink, or cream-coloured. The genus Protea was named in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will. Protea flowers are beautiful, but many people don't know that they are not poisonous. The flowers are native to South Africa and are large shrubs or small trees that can grow to be 2-5 m tall. The leaves on the tree are 10-20 cm long and 5-15 cm wide. The flowers are surrounded by large, fleshy, brightly colored bracts. The flowers themselves are small and tubular and are generally white, pink, or cream-colored.