One of many matchless plants stemming only from Australia, Kangaroo Paws has become one of the most loved flowers from this continent. Today, it is still grown down under, as well as commercially in the United States, Israel and Japan.
The botanical name for this flower is Anigozanthos, which is derived from two Greek words “anises” and “anthos”, meaning “oblique” and “flower” due to the way it blooms into 6 uneven petals. Within this genus Anigozanthos there are only 11 species of kangaroo paws. All are indigenous to Australia- specifically the south western region of Australia.
Kangaroo paws are part of the perennial plant family and, for the most part, are not picky about the soil or the weather conditions they live in. In fact, this flower adapts without difficulty to wherever it is planted, making it a fairly easy plant to grow.
If you’re adding these one of a kind flowers to your garden, choose a setting that is full of sun and has well-drained soil. Add a good compost to the soil to help greatly with flower growth. If cultivating from the seed, expect sprouts to take about 4 weeks to show. It is recommended you keep the soil constantly moist until then. After sprouts occur, put them on a reduced water schedule (1-2 times weekly). In the spring and summer, it helps to feed the kangaroo paws a fertilizer and in the winter keep the soil almost dry. When this flower is in full bloom, it can stand as tall as 4 feet in height. Last but not least, keep an eye out for pests like snails and slugs. They love this plant, but the plant does not like to keep their company. If you see any on this flower, remove them promptly.
Florists love and have fun with this flower because of its long-lasting cut blooms (1-3 weeks) and the fact that they dry out well, often using the kangaroo paws in dried-bouquets or other crafts.
Maybe this flower is so admired because of its velvety exterior, or because of how its’ closed “paw” blossoms look so rare. Or maybe it’s because of the broad range of bright flower colors, including reds, oranges, yellows, greens and pinks, attracting birds to perch on and feed off of them. No matter the reason so many love the kangaroo paws, it’s one worth blooming for.
Also visit our Kangaroo Paws Life Cycle page.