Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lambs-tails, Pink Mulla-mulla
Ptilotus exaltatus 'Joey'

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Ptilotus (ty-LOH-tus) (Info)
Species: exaltatus (eks-all-TAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Joey

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Kell
Thumbnail #1 of Ptilotus exaltatus by Kell

By Kell
Thumbnail #2 of Ptilotus exaltatus by Kell

By Kell
Thumbnail #3 of Ptilotus exaltatus by Kell

By Kell
Thumbnail #4 of Ptilotus exaltatus by Kell

By amorecuore
Thumbnail #5 of Ptilotus exaltatus by amorecuore

By Happenstance
Thumbnail #6 of Ptilotus exaltatus by Happenstance

By Mrs_Ed
Thumbnail #7 of Ptilotus exaltatus by Mrs_Ed

There are a total of 19 photos.
Click here to view them all!


5 positives
4 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral thurmas On Jul 18, 2014, thurmas from West Chester, PA wrote:

I read where one does not need to deadhead this plant, but how does one keep the flowering part looking fresh? The lower part of the bloom dries up and comes off gently by pulling this off. This leaves a nice fresh looking part of the bloom at the top end. Is this the correct method to use to keep the bloom looking fresh? Thanks for your help with this issue.

Positive rosmci2 On Apr 1, 2014, rosmci2 from Wirrabara
Australia wrote:

Humidity could be the problem in Florida, see photo of a wild stand next to pearl bluebush at this URL:

Spring flowering desert species, growing in strong sunlight, or very thin shade, in well drained soils, climate
1. pa rainfall 6-8"/150-200mm, most falling in cooler winter months,
2. humidity low, and
3. high diurnal temperature range (varies from mimimum occasionally down as far as 32F (0C), occasionally maximum 100F (36C), usually more like 5C-28C.

Positive saskboy On Jan 25, 2013, saskboy from Regina, SK (Zone 3b) wrote:

tried this for the first time in 2012. started out slowly but reallly took off by july 1. Everyone who passed by had to stop and ask what it was, its so unique. The bottlebrush flowers are a gorgeous shade of smokey lilac, and were extremely profuse; one plant completely filled out the centre of a 20" pot. It bloomed non stop from late june to late september and topped out at about 16 inches high and the same wide.It was located where it got full sun for 12 hours daily. I placed it in the centre of the pot and ringed it with dark blue wave petunias, and silver helichrysum vines. it was a total knockout!
for the best success with Joey, place it in FULL sun, and do not overwater. Fertilize very sparingly , if at all.

Neutral nogreenthumb48 On Jan 11, 2013, nogreenthumb48 from Glendale, AZ wrote:

I bought this plant at my local Safeway floral dept. Many people brought it back saying it died. I kept mine and the blooms stayed all summer. Just recently clipped them off because of new blooms growing. I have it potted in a plant in my kitchen window. It is a south facing window. The leaves dried up and fell off but the blooms stayed. I was patient and watered it when I remembered. (I do the same thing with my Antherium). It started to bloom new leaves and I have noticed new little baby tails. Can't wait to see how it does.

Positive runem On Nov 23, 2012, runem from Sydney
Australia wrote:

Hello, this is an Australian native plant. I live in Sydney Australia and have had my eye out for one for a long time. Finally found it at the nursery yesterday.

It is a strange plant, in that it grows almost everywhere in Australia (the west, north, east and central south - but not where it gets too cold), though I've never seen one in the wild.

It likes well drained soil, which means it should be happy with little or no water. I have a garden full of native Australian plants, and aside from watering them to help them establish, I never water again. I've also had a couple of tons of native soil shipped in to my garden, this is mostly black sand with a little bark and leaf matter - so it's not particularly nutritious and doesn't hold water. I never feed my native plants.

They grow in a position where they get full sun all morning and most of the afternoon (in the Southern Hemisphere that means they face north).

I wouldn't plant this shrub in a pot with other plants that require a lot of water or a lot of feeding. This plant, and others like it, will thrive when set up properly and ignored.

The range and beauty of low water use Australian native plants is extensive. And if you were to see the conditions in which some of them thrive you would be stunned, and excited, by the delicate and complex flowers they can produce.

Of course, if you don't live in Australia you might be best to plant things native to the country where you live and, surprisingly, end up with the most exotic of gardens.

Negative FlaFlower On Feb 27, 2012, FlaFlower from Miami Dade, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

I have tried and tried from seed and can't get it to grow.
It is the cutest thing, wish I could get it in my garden...oh well can't have them all, but we can sure try!!

Positive Beachlady868 On Aug 19, 2011, Beachlady868 from Lincoln City, OR wrote:

I purchased this 4" plant in June, repotted to an 8" clay pot and placed in as full sun a location as is possible on the Oregon Coast. The plant is thriving with nearly zero care. Occasionally it is watered. There has been no significant rain. It is a delightful surprise to my Master Gardener and Garden Club friends, none of whom has ever seen one. I look forward to collecting seed or trying propagation methods this fall. As of now I have no plans to put it in the ground as our area is so wet.

Neutral wingator On Sep 6, 2010, wingator from High Springs, FL wrote:

I got one of these from Lowes last year and enjoyed it all summer. It froze back in the winter as expected. This year there were about 50 volunteers coming up in every pot on my patio...even after a winter low temp of 15 F. Next year, I may find there is nothing left but these tall fuzzies.

Negative Elijablue On Aug 7, 2010, Elijablue from Wheaton, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Saw a write-up in a gardening magazine about this cute plant a few years ago and had to have it. Finally found it this year at a nursery. Planted it in a container and it bloomed well for a few weeks. Then it just quit and up and died! The container had a western exposure (afternoon sun) and everything else in it has done well. What a disappointment!

Positive Mountaindave On Nov 2, 2009, Mountaindave from Port Orchard, WA wrote:

It grows well here in the Pacific Northwest with full sun. I have collected a lot of seeds but are they viable and/or true to their parent? I will know in about 6 months. Will use them as front of the border plants to replace my allysum if they are

Neutral mjsponies On May 16, 2009, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

just planting instructions say "semi-moist
" do not let dry out. so that may have been the problem w/ another posters plants. We'll see how it does...sure is a cute plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Springville, Alabama
Glendale, Arizona
Aliso Viejo, California
Fairfield, California
Perris, California
Apopka, Florida
Debary, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
High Springs, Florida
Barbourville, Kentucky
Norfolk, Nebraska
Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Averill Park, New York
Garrettsville, Ohio
Lincoln City, Oregon
Regina, Saskatchewan
Richmond, Texas
East Port Orchard, Washington
Lake Delton, Wisconsin

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America