Leucadendron is a genus containing over 80 species of flowering evergreen shrubs that are prized for their exotic looking inflorescent blossoms. Leucadendron blossoms make excellent cut flowers, keeping their gorgeous red, burgundy, green or yellow color for up to three weeks. Endemic to South Africa, leucadendron grows best in Mediterranean climates such as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. In the right growing conditions, leucadendron is simple to cultivate.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- Peat moss
- Coarse builders sand
- Garden fork or spade
- Garden hose
Consider the sunlight and soil requirements of your leucadendron when selecting a planting location in your garden or home landscape. Look for a spot that receives bright, direct sunlight for at least six hours each day and offers excellent soil drainage. Note that leucadendrons perform best when planted on slopes that allow excess water to drain safely away from the plant.
Amend the soil at your planting location to facilitate better soil drainage. Cover the soil with a 3-inch layer of equal parts peat moss, perlite and coarse builders sand. Till the amendments into the soil to a depth of 10 to 12 inches with a shovel, garden fork or spade.
Dig the planting hole for your leucadendron to be two to three times wider than the plant’s garden center container. Dig the hole to be just as deep as the container is tall so that the leucadendron will be planted at the same level it is currently growing.
Place the leucadendron in the planting hole that your prepared for it. Return the displaced, amended soil to the planting hole and pack down the surface of the soil to secure your plant in its new location.
Give your leucadendron 1 inch of water after planting to ensure that the surrounding soil is thoroughly moistened; moist soil will encourage your plant to establish itself in its new location more quickly. Continue to provide the leucadendron with 1 inch of water each week until the plant establishes a strong root system. Decrease the frequency of watering once your plant is established; water just once every two to three weeks in the absence of rain.
Tips & Warnings
Additional leucadendron plants can be propagated by seed, though leucadendron grown from seed make take up to three years to bloom.
Leucadendron is very capable of drawing sufficient nutrients from the surrounding soil and rarely needs fertilization. If you must fertilize, use a fertilizer with very little phosphorus as the mineral can be toxic to leucadendron.