Pruning and maintaing Kangaroo paws, (Anigozanthos) is worth the effort because it is very simple to do and greatly improves the look and health of your plant.
The native western Australian plant, "Kangaroo paws," ( Anigozanthos) seem to be everywhere these days.
I see the evergreen, dark green clumps with striking tubular flowers in red, purple, green, orange and yellow displayed in pots, in garden beds and used in all kinds of landscape designs from tropical to contemporary.
Kangaroo paws are in my garden too.
Gardeners with sympathetic gardening zones that are dry, hot and mediterranean-like have discovered the almost-never-ending, vigourous performer contributes ceaseless color to the garden bed.
So when a client calls me and tells me their Kangaroo paw is "dead," I don't worry, its usually just time for some careful grooming and pruning!
Dried Kangaroo Paw flower stalks
While the dried flower stalks of the Kangaroo Paw look great in dry flower arrangements, I can understand the dismay my clients feel when they see formerly robust and vivid flowers turn pale and lifeless looking.
No big deal- just follow the flower stalk to the base where it emergences from the foliage clump and snip it off.
New flower stalks will be encouraged to grow and soon new flowers will emerge to replace the old.
Remove any brown or ugly foliage straps while you are at it so that the newly pruned Kangaroo Paw looks neat and green.
Remove the dry, brown strappy foliage
It never ceases to amaze me how many people "trim" brown tips from otherwise green strappy foliage, as if it will grow in where it was cut.
Remove the entire strap from the bottom!
Trimmed straps look terrible and they will stay ugly until the foliage dies back.
Don't do it!
After I trimmed the dead flower stalks and cleaned out the ugly foliage, I noticed new flower stalks waiting for their turn in the sun.
With the which the extrenous foliage and dead flowers gone they should get plenty of light!
New flower stalks are already emerging!
Keep your Kangaroo paws moist (but not damp) during the new flowering period so that severe dryness will not prompt them to dormancy.
Once the flowers get some height on them, cut the watering back and only water when the soil around the root ball feels dry.
Kangaroo paws appreciate well draining soil, lots of sunshine and they are not good swimmers- so go light on the water.
Kangaroo paws will reward you for your efforts with show-stopping blooms that will have your neighbors asking, "What plant is that?"
I especially like to plant Kangaroo paws as an airy and translucent hedge.
Take a look at it in my yard.
*See more garden projects, before and after landscape photos and the latest in garden design with regular visits to Shirley Bovshow™s EdenMaker™s Blog!