A little bit about leucospermum
Leucospermum is often caught up in case of mistaken identity. If it's not confused for a leucadendron, it’s often sold as a protea (though it's part of the same family, it's a different plant) by florists who don’t want to confuse customers with the long Greek name, which means ‘white seed’, from the shining seed vessels.
Take a closer look at a leucospermum and you’ll see that unlike proteas and leucadendrons, which have showy and decorative bracts around their less spectacular flower heads, a leucospermum flower itself is truly the star of the show. The beautiful, pincushion-like blooms are brilliantly coloured in red, orange or yellow from spring to early summer, while the foliage takes the form of an evergreen, compact and attractive woody shrub with thick, leathery leaves.
Botanical name: Leucospermum
Common name: Pincushion
Height: 1.5 - 3 metres Width: 1 - 2 metres
Ideal spot: Leucospermum needs well-drained, slightly acidic soil and an open, full sun spot.
Where to grow leucospermum? You can grow leucospermum in your garden bed or in a pot.
When does leucospermum bloom? From spring through to early summer.
How to prepare for planting
Although leucospermum is not an Australian native, it benefits from the same type of soil that native plants do. Soil should be rich in nutrients, well-draining and slightly acidic but low in phosphorous - digging in some well-rotted manure or organic matter will help to condition your soil. If you're planting in pots, a native mix such as Supersoil Professional Native Potting and Planting Mix will provide the right conditions for your leucospermum to flourish.
Give your leucospermum a native fertiliser that's low in phosphorous straight after flowering. We carry a range of fantastic fertilisers that your leucospermum will love - click here to view the range.
Leucospermum doesn't need any special pruning, apart from cutting off dead flowers to help prolong flowering and/or cutting the bush to your desired shape. Leucospermum makes a beautiful and long-lasting cut flower, too.
Leucospermums are relatively hardy plants. Give yours plenty of water when planting, then water once or twice a week once established.