Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paw)

I messed up the cutting when I tried to divide an Anigozanthos flavidus red flowered form. At least I hope it is red as the label states. The trouble is that if the plant is seed grown it could be green as this seems to be the dominant colour in this species.

Anyway I wanted to divide it so that I had extra plants should the main one meet with an accident, like being drowned or forgotten! The bits that broke off may have enough tuber attached to grow on.

Anigozanthos flavidus is the hardiest of the Kangaroo Paws, and has the tallest flower spikes, which seem to flower for a long time. Most of the ‘paws’ prefer well drained positions but this one is quite forgiving as it is hardy in most soils and positions. Seed germinates readily, especially if fresh. Divide during the Autumn before new leaves begin to grow. A heavy sharp knife is necessary with this species as it has a large tuber.


12 Responses to “Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paw)”

  1. Suzanne says:

    I just bought an ANIGOZANTHOS kangaroo paw and I would like to see what it looks like when grown up, colour, length, everything and what to do to keep it well…
    I live in CANADA. Where should I plant this Kangaroo Paw?

  2. Corinne says:

    Reply from Corinne by email
    When you bought the Kangaroo Paw it should have a label which will tell you its colour and size. If you let me know what name is on the label I will be able to give better information. There are lots of different Kangaroo Paws available in Australia but you will only get a few in Canada. The one that you have will probably have leaves between 30cm and 50cm tall and will have a flower spike taller than the leaves.

    They will only grow where there is not severe frost. If you cannot find a place in the garden with full sun and protection from the worst frost it will be best if you grow the Kangaroo Paw in a container at least 30cm in diameter. They need to have good drainage. If it is planted in the garden sometimes it is a good thing to add extra soil to the place to raise the level of the planting hole up about 10cm. This gives a planting space with good drainage.

    If the rainfall is high be careful that you do not over water the plant. When the top 1cm of the potting mix is dry, it is time to water the plant.

    I hope this information helps and you enjoy the flowers on your Kangaroo Paw.

    If you have any more questions, please ask.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Thank you very much for your prompt answer and informations. Unfortunately I do not have more information on the label.

    I will have to wait and see the flowers.

  4. Corinne says:

    From Corinne, by email

    I was thinking about your question after I sent the reply and realised how much we need to know a little about the growing conditions and climate before giving advice to people.

    The other thing to consider with the Kangaroo Paw is that they grow naturally in poor soils. Unless people in your neighborhood normally add fertiliser to their gardens, do not add it to the Kangaroo Paw. If you decide to keep the plant in a large container, use a normal mix with good drainage. Use a slow release fertiliser in the potting mix or water with half strength liquid fertiliser or put some compost on the surface of the pot while the plant is growing and making flower buds. Watch out for snails and slugs as these love to eat the leaves.

    As it is nearly summer for you it should be in flower soon. Mine have finished flowering now although I have not cut the old flower stalks off yet. I have divided a few that I have in pots and they are still going well, so I am pleased about that.

  5. […] I had a comment on the Blog entry on Anigozanthos flavidus. Suzanne is in Canada and had bought a Kangaroo Paw with no information on the label other than Anigozanthos Kangaroo Paw. She wanted cultivation information. I replied to her by email but could only give general information. See the above link. It is so difficult to give useful information when one does not know the country’s climate or the garden conditions. I have had to make a number of assumptions. […]

  6. peter says:

    The kangaroo paw I’m raisinf in Germany on a sunny balcony come from seeds from Australia. I grow it in a terracotta pot and it grows steadily and nice. But now, with a leave length of appr. 40cm it stops growing and it wont develop any blossoms! Instead the tops of the leaves show hints of either malnutrition or too much fertilizer. I stopped using fertilizer and water with care. Stil no blossoms. What can I do?

  7. Corinne says:

    Don’t forget that Kangaroo Paws are perennial and slow growth down during warm weather. That is usually when they are cut back and divided when growing in the garden. They should flower next season. I have found that they take 2-3 years from seed to flower. They need plenty of sunshine and a good flow of air. Is it a black appearance to the leaf tips tips? This is a fungal disease, called ink disease, often affecting kangaroo paws. Spray with a mild fungicide, whether natural or chemical. The tips can be cut off and put in the rubbish (not compost heap). Also, growth in a pot uses up nutrients, and you should add half strength liquid fertiliser or long term slow release pellets (7-9 month), using the recommended amount for the size of the pot. Be careful not to over water. Check the soil moisture before giving water, especially during the cooler months. The top 1-2cm of mix should be dry. Over watering causes root rot.

  8. Ryan says:

    In response to Peter in Germany – it may be that your kangaroom paws are receiving light reflected off windows, this changes the properties of the sun and actually burns the leaves (I’ve had this problem myself). Not sure there is much you can do if it is only a small space.

  9. Lee Lee says:

    Im doing a thing for class on this plant I live in Victoria Australia and I cant get much certain info one site says it grows to a metre the next says 500cm I need help or Im going to Fail MASSIVELY Please help it would be great. We are making a garden atshol and it really isnt working for me I dont like dirt or mud and I hate bees

    • Corinne says:

      Hi Lee Lee,
      I would hate to have you fail MASSIVELY! I will write a new blog entry on this species and put a link in the other comment for you to find it. Please give me a couple of hours to get it done.

      Meanwhile, unfortunately dirt and mud go with gardening and more so in Vic where you have a much higher rainfal than here. Do you have a good pair of gardening gloves? There is a brand called ‘Showa’ which has a small size and actually fits reasonably to let you grip things properly. Mitre 10 might have them, and also Plants Plus nurseries. I’ve seen them recently in one of the catalogues. If you can’t get them, the latex disposable gloves from the super market I find are pretty good. You can’t reuse them easily, so a packet of them is a good idea. Don’t leave them in the light as this makes them rot. Keep the box in a drawer or bag.

      Next, do you have a gardening apron? You can get the proper thing. I use a kitchen apron that I don’t like much, outside. I keep it for that job, and every now and then throw it in the washing machine. If it has pockets you can carry gloves and a cloth as well. At school you might like something a bit less old fashioned, but a men’s barbecue apron would probably be good. This way, if you can cover up and not get so mucky, you might enjoy the gardening.

      As for the bees, they can be a problem. I’m not sure if those tropical strength insect repellants would work with bees. Perhaps your parents could could check that out for you. Bushman’s is a good brand.

      Link to Blog on Anigozanthos flavidus

  10. Lee Lee says:

    PLease excuse the miss spelling the keys have been swaped around on my keyboard

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