February 13th, 2011: Sugarbush 'Pink Princess' (Protea ) by Totally_Amazing

(Zone 9b)

The Bloom of the Day for February 13th, 2011 was Sugarbush 'Pink Princess' (Protea ).

View the bloom of the day here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/botd.php?date=2011-02-13

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Lovely flower! Great picture!!

I used to show at the Ventura Fair in Calif and we could find these at our local florst. They looked wonderful in arrangements. Can't grow them here in Kentucky, but I love seeing pictures of them.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Great pick for "bloom of the day!"

What a beautiful photo of an interesting bloom! At first glance, it reminded me a lot of the "Audrey II" (the plant in "Little Shop of Horrors")... fun!

South China, ME(Zone 5a)

LOL Jill! It is a beautiful and unique bloom!!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Beautiful bloom and very nice photo - I like the lighting around the hairy (?) edges.

Osgoode, ON(Zone 5b)

Do Proteas grow on this continent too? I know them from the Cape region in South Africa, and some smaller types would grow in the Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe too. They really are quite spectacular, and dry well to.
Thanks for giving me a warm fuzzy moment with that wonderful photo!!

(Zone 9b)

Such an intense real PINK in this protea! I love it!

Binibusybee, protea are huge in the florist industry in California. I see them all the time now in bouquets and many are sold in local nurseries to grow in the home garden here too. They love are dry summers.


Here are some fun pics of the ones grown here.
http://californiaprotea.org/Pics/index.html

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Beautiful! Wonder if I could get one to grow here?

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Proteas like it hot and dry. Az is a good place for them.

(Zone 9b)

Here is a good general article on the family of Protea with some info on the genus protea which is the one you are most interested in. http://www.californiaproteamgmt.com/caring_for_protea.html

They are not as easy to grow as one may think. I personally have killed a few! LOL If you have the exact right place for them, they are but I think most of us have gardens that are too well tended for them. My soil would have to be totally reworked to grow them for I have added every amendment known to man for 30 years. They like much less.

They are not like succulents where they are forgiving of no water for long periods of time. They like water but on their own terms which is incredibly good drainage. They get root rot easily if the soil holds water. I know UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley has been trying to grow more in their South American garden and are having trouble finding the right soil for them and they die fast.

They have huge Protea (genus) farms in Hawaii and in Southern California. I think both are not as extreme in temperature as Arizona. I know some are easier than others, so you would have to experiment. I googled protea in Arizona and got nothing.

If you succeed let us know! You might ask at your local botanical garden if they have tried to grow them.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the info girls!! I will have to look into it some more;o) I have a few spots of crappy unamended soil still, and it's definitely hot and dry.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I know someone that was growing them in San Bernadino Calif. They had mostly sandy soil and the Protea grew well for them.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Interesting how some plants that survive such harsh conditions can be so hard to grow in a "regular" garden.

Reading the above posts, I'm still hearing musical echoes...

I've given you sunshine
I've given you dirt.
You've given me nothing
But heartache and hurt.
I'm beggin' you sweetly.
I'm down on my knees.
Oh, please... grow for me!!!

(Zone 9b)

LOL!

Melbourne, Australia

Hello,
I am flattered that my photo made it to Bloom of the Day and embarassed that it has taken me 3 months to notice!
Thankyou for your comments.

I planted a row of 10 of these in April (autumn/fall in Australia) and they all thrived until after they flowered in November. Then I lost half of them to what I suspect was root rot. The leaves turned yellowish and then developed black edges which eventually consume the entire leaf. I haven't found anything to return the plant back to good health, but Fongarid stopped the decline. Maybe it would have been effective if I applied it sooner.

My soil is heavy and my proteas grow better when planted on a slope.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

way too cool!!!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm glad you popped this thread up again, gave me another chance to check out that bloom! Thanks for sharing your photo. :-)

(Zone 9b)

What a shame that you lost so many Totally_Amazing. I know that a garden here has lost many of theirs too. I was told they are very susceptible to a root fungus that lives in the soil and sadly the soil there now has it. SO many of their fancy protea are now dead. It is such a shame.

Melbourne, Australia

It is annoying that some died, but I am so lucky that I still have some healthy survivors. I have thought about replacing the soil with better quality soil and trying again but I don't know if the same problem will happen again.

My proteas had only been planted for about 8-10 months before they died. May I ask roughly how old your local proteas were that died? I am wondering if they become more tolerant of root fungus as they mature.

(Zone 9b)

They were all very mature! I have noticed they do not live for years and years. Seems to be a fast turnover. I am not sure if their nature or the soil is just full of bad fungus. I get so sad for I always get attached to certain plants and love to visit. They will be there 1 week and then a couple weeks later they are gone!

Melbourne, Australia

That sucks. It sounds like the proteas were growing happily for a long time and hopefully they will thrive there again.

I think I will fix my soil and try again. My soil is too heavy and I need to redirect the water runoff from my neighbour's property which is uphill from me I am about 20km from Proteaflora and should be able to grow anything they can once I've figured out how.

Thankyou for the information.

(Zone 9b)

Please post photos when they are up and blooming. I just love them. If I could I would grow this one I found in a nursery. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/295865/

Melbourne, Australia

That's very cute. I love the protea Bishop Tutu with the furry black tips. I have added another photo of the entire plant from last year (it's not showing up yet). They won't bloom again until November.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

So... it's November... are they blooming yet? ;-)

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Wow I'd love to have that in my garden...Amazing!

Melbourne, Australia

Would you believe these proteas were in bloom from late August to early October this year? I think they flowered later last year because they had only been in the ground for a few months and now they are more established. This year I got a few more blooms on each plant.


Thumbnail by Totally_Amazing
(Zone 9b)

They are so pretty! Lucky you!

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

yes they are!

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