If you have ever marveled at the unusual beauty of a protea growing in a warm and sunny flower garden, consider adding a king protea to your own landscape to create a distinctive display. Gardeners living in USDA zones 8 through 10 have the ideal growing environment for protea plants. Provide well-draining soil and direct sun and a king protea plant should thrive easily once it establishes in the soil.
Prepare the planting area for the king protea if you are placing it into the soil. Select a growing location that receives full sunlight and moderate protection from wind. Spread the tarp near the digging location and dig a hole that is approximately 6 inches wider and deeper than the root system of the protea plant. Place the soil on the tarp as you remove it from the hole.
Combine 1 part leaf mould, 1 part soil and 2 parts coarse sand on the tarp and mix these materials together well to combine them. Add between 1 and 2 oz. of bone meal to the soil mixture and mix this in well. If you are planting the king protea in a container, fill the container approximately half-full with the soil mixture. If you are planting the king protea in the soil, refill the hole with approximately 6 inches of the soil mixture.
Place the king protea plant into the prepared hole or the prepared container, situating it so it is at the same depth as it was growing in the temporary container. Add additional soil mixture around the roots of the king protea and tamp the soil down firmly with your hands to finish planting the king protea.
Provide a generous watering immediately after you finish planting the protea. Water the soil to saturate it completely. Water the king protea when the soil dries and then water only to moisten the soil again.
Fertilize the king protea with the phosphate-free fertilizer once during the middle of the summer to promote energetic growth. Mix the fertilizer with water according to the product label and pour the fertilizer carefully around the soil.
Prune a king protea minimally. Immediately after the protea finishes blossoming, remove the spent blossoms with the pruning shears. Leave the rest of the plant untouched.