Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos) plants are clump-forming evergreen perennials native to Western Australia. These distinctly strange and interesting plants offer, not only unusual combinations of bright colours, but also equally unusual 'Antler shaped' flower stalks. Kangaroo paws make excellent cut flowers as well as fantastic horticultural plants.
We have some great tips on kangaroo paw plant care below, including how to prevent ink disease and correct watering of your plant.
Kangaroo paws can be grown in greenhouses, outdoors, in pots, or indoors. In areas of even moderate frost, the plant should be protected or kept indoors over winter. Kangaroo paws are happiest in full sun, in soil that is very well drained.
The plants do not like high humidity levels. A relative humidity between the 70% and 80% is ideal. Higher than this results in leaf problems (ink disease). A too dry environment gives growth reduction. Good ventilation is required.
Ideally Kangaroo paws are best watered with a drip system. Overhead watering which causes the leaves to sit wet for prolonged periods, encourages ink disease, a major disease affecting Kangaroo paws. Preferably watering should only be done in the morning and should be avoided during dark overcasts days.
Most species are dormant over winter (some die back completely) and it is important not to over-water at this time.
Kangaroo paws are best fed with a low phosphorus slow release fertilizer.
A major disease of kangaroo paws is a fungus which causes ink disease, Ink disease appears as large black blotches on the leaves. Plants growing in cool moist climates are more susceptible. Ink disease is difficult to treat. Vigorously growing plants are more resistant and dividing clumps after several years helps ensure strong growth.
Kangaroo paws can be cut back to within about 10 cm of the ground in late winter. In this way diseased and frost damaged leaves are removed, reducing the chance that they will harbour pests and diseases. If ink spot is prevalent at other times the affected leaf can be cut back a similar amount.