Proteas are a unique and beautiful addition to any garden or landscape. They require very little maintenance and do well even in very poor quality soils. However, there are some important things you need to do when attempting to grow young proteas until they are fully matured.
Caring for Your Proteas
Choose a soil that is slightly acidic and has a pH level of about 6 to 7. Young proteas require a lot of watering until they are established. However, if you use a lot of mulch in your soil, you'll find that your plants will only need water occasionally. Proteas like moist—but not soggy—soil.
Generally speaking, proteas don't require a lot of fertilization. If you are growing in a pot or in particulary poor soil and wish to use fertilizer, make sure the mixture is low in phosphorus.
The only real maintenance proteas need is pruning. You should prune back a young protea just after it has been planted in order to encourage branching. Prune again after about 6 months to give your protea a bushy and fuller appearance. The best way to prune proteas after this point is to simply pick the flowers.
Alternatively, you can prune the flowering stems back as well, but never prune into the bare wood. Also, for fully mature proteas, never prune off more than about a third of the foliage in one session.