Protea cynaroides – Protea cynaroides – Garden plants – Protea cynaroides – Shrubs

The Protea cynaroides gathers about one hundred evergreen shrubs, originating in Africa; they produce long erect stems, scarcely ramified, rigid and thick, which can reach the 100-150 cm in the adult specimens; the leaves are elongated, oval or lanceolate, of dark green colour, waxy.

In summer, they produce some 10-25 cm broad inflorescences, formed by many small flowers united at the centre, surrounded by long coloured bracts; the proteas inflorescences have the most varied forms, some seem to be big artichokes, or conifers. The flowers are produced in a limited number by each plant, but remain flowering for weeks. The bracts can be white, pink, red, orange. P. neriifolia has leaves similar to oleander, and has a curious dark down on the edge of the rigid bracts; P.

cynaroides produces roundish inflorescences, similar to big artichokes, of pink or white colour.

These plants are not very common in our gardens, but are very much used for cut flowers, also because in the countries of origin the flowers bloom when in our peninsula is full winter.

As the years go by, the shrubs tend to “empty” in the lower part, and to produce less flowers, therefore, it is advisable to prune the plant up to the ground, in order to favour the development of new and more vigorous ramifications.

Protea

Exposure

Protea The Protea cynaroides prefer sunny, or semi-shady, positions; usually they can bear temperatures close to zero for short periods; in the areas with cold winters, these plants are to be cultivated in big containers, and sheltered in cold greenhouses during the winter. P. neriifolia seems to be more resistant than the other species, as it can easily withstand even short periods of frost.

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Watering

protea cynaroides As for the most suitable type of watering for the Protea cynaroides from March to October should be watered regularly, always waiting for the soil to be dry between one watering and the other; during the cold months the plants are satisfied with the rains.

It is important to avoid water stagnation that could damage the plant.

At the end of winter, the plant is supplied with slow release fertilizer for flowering plants.

Land

protea The Protea cynaroides in the wild develop in dry, nutrient-poor, incoherent soils. These plants develop a conspicuous radical apparatus, which, for a correct development, needs loose and well drained soils. Universal soil can be used, mixed with high percentages of sand and pumice stone. For the cultivation in pot, it is good to choose a very capacious container, in order to leave free development to the fleshy roots.

Multiplication

The multiplication of this plant is by seed, which the plant produces in large quantities; in summer it is also possible to make cuttings, taking them from the stems produced in the year. The plants produced from seed take about 4-5 years before flowering.

Protea cynaroides: Parasites and diseases

protea These plants are quite resistant and are usually not attacked by pests or diseases.

Mimosa - Acacia dealbata

Corbezzolo - Arbutus

Photinia x fraseri

Buddleia