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How to Care for a Kangaroo Paw Plant

Kangaroo paw plant, also known by its scientific name, Anigozanthos, is a perennial plant valued for its ornamental flowers and ease of care. The plant blooms during spring and summer, producing numerous flowers in shades of red, purple, yellow or black, depending on the variety. The plant's common name originates from its flowers, which resemble small kangaroo paws. Native to Australia, kangaroo paw thrives in warm growing conditions and American gardeners often grow the plant in containers for easier transport indoors when temperatures drop.

Plant kangaroo paw plant during mid-spring in a location that receives about six to eight hours of full sun each day and has well-drained, sandy, acidic soil. Space kangaroo paw plants at least 18 to 20 inches apart.

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch over the soil surrounding the kangaroo paw plant to insulate the soil, increase moisture retention and deter competitive weeds. Begin the mulch at least 3 inches from the plant's base to prevent plant from developing fungal diseases from a lack of air circulation.

Water kangaroo paw plant once per week during the spring and summer to keep the soil consistently moist, but not wet or soggy. Reduce the watering frequency to once every 10 days during fall and once every two weeks throughout winter.

Fertilize the plant once per month during spring, summer and fall to provide proper nutrition for flower production. Use a low-phosphorous 20-10-20 NPK fertilizer at the rate described by the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

Maintain a constant temperature of 40 to 80 degrees F for optimal growth. Plant kangaroo paw in a container if temperatures in your area regularly leave this range. Keep the container outdoors and transfer indoors when the temperature drops below 40 degrees F or rises above 80 degrees F to prevent the plant from becoming stressed.


Use pine needles, chopped leaves or wood chips to mulch kangaroo paw plant.

Plant kangaroo paw any time of year, though a spring planting yields the best results.

Kangaroo paw plant tolerates short periods outside its recommended temperature range, but extended periods may cause permanent damage or failure to thrive and flower.

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