Anigozanthos is a perennial plant from the Hemorrhoid family that has appeared in flower shops not so long ago. It is found in the wild in Western Australia. This is the only continent where the perennial grows naturally.
Today there are about 13 of its varieties. But not all of them are cultivated in indoor floriculture.
In Greek, anigozanthos means “uneven flower”. Indeed, the tips of the petals are divided into 6 unequal parts. Another name for the culture is “kangaroo paws”. It is given because of the characteristic shape of the petals, which are arched like the paws of Australian animals.
In height, the plant reaches an average of two meters. The roots are short, horizontally located. The basal rosette is formed by lanceolate and belt-like leaf plates. The thinnest stems are decorated with panicles of yellow, pink or greenish colors. There are also two-tone versions. The texture of the petals resemble felt or wool. The flowering period lasts from May to July.
It should be noted that cut flowers look fresh for a long time. For this reason, the perennial is actively used as part of various compositions. Dried specimens are suitable for creating bouquets and allow you to achieve very interesting visual effects.
More recently, dwarf hybrids have appeared on sale. Breeders bred them specifically so that anigozanthos can be successfully grown at home.
In countries with mild winters, the crop is grown as a garden perennial.
Consider the most common varieties of anigozanthos:
- Green. The height is from 40 to 60 cm. The leaf plates are narrowed, the flowers are yellow-green in color with pubescence.
- Redhead. Emerald leaves with rough villi, inflorescences are represented by panicles. The flowers are bright red.
- Pretty. On silvery sheet plates, there is a soft edge. Branched panicles are decorated with yellow flowers.
- Manglesi. This is a capricious species that has a tendency to rapidly degenerate. Leaf plates are arranged vertically. The stems have a reddish sheen. Inflorescence in the form of a brush. Each of them can have up to seven buds. Petals yellowish-green with curved lobes.
- Short. Inflorescence racemose. The buds are yellow, orange and red.
- Yellowish. Powerful and sprawling perennial with marsh-colored leaves. Inflorescence in the form of panicles are equipped with a dozen flowers of terracotta or light green color.
- Bicolor. Flowers olive green. The inflorescence are densely pubescent. Stems reach a length of two meters. Leaf plates with small spines along the edges.
In general, this is an unpretentious plant in the care. But when growing, a number of conditions must be observed.
This crop prefers low humidity.
It tolerates both slight frosts and heat well. For the winter, the plant is optimally placed in a cool (about ten degrees) room. At other times of the year, temperatures in the range of 20 to 25 degrees are suitable. If these conditions are not met, then you can never wait for flowering.
Not afraid of dry air near batteries and heaters.
Culture refers to light-loving. Direct ultraviolet rays are simply necessary for her. For the summer, you can take the perennial outside (on the balcony or in the garden) and put it in a place that is well lit by the sun. This will increase the intensity of flowering. At home, it is better to choose a window sill for him on the south side. Northern locations are categorically not suitable. If there is not enough light for anigozanthos, it will not bloom and will begin to fade.
The use of artificial lighting is allowed.
In the summer months, abundant watering under the root is required. It is important to prevent liquid from getting on the leaves. When the earth dries out, the flowers may fall off. The substrate must pass moisture well and prevent its stagnation so that the roots do not rot. The water should be soft and warm.
Spraying is allowed using fine sprayers at a temperature not lower than 20 degrees.
Three components must be present in its composition: sand, peat and leafy soil. Suitable for use and purchased soil. The only recommendation is not to add bark. In nature, anigozanthos grows on sandy or rocky ground. Heavy substrates that are difficult to pass moisture are not suitable.
When there is active growth, top dressing is necessary once every 14-20 days. Moderate, halved doses of fertilizers are taken. During the winter months, additional feeding is not required.
Universal complex fertilizers are well suited for anigozanthos.
Young plants do not need a transplant. It is only necessary when the roots no longer fit in the pot. Usually, the procedure is carried out in late spring. A medium-sized container with a wide base is selected. A good drainage layer must be laid there. The bottom of the pot should be equipped with holes for draining excess liquid.
Timely removal of flower stalks is required in order to prevent wilting.
Perennial propagated by dividing the bush or with the help of seeds.
Only old, overgrown specimens are suitable for this method. The optimal period is spring and autumn, after the end of the flowering period. The root is divided with a sharp knife, the old foliage is removed. Do not allow water to fall on the cuts when watering. This can provoke the development of the disease. The seedling is placed in shaded places and kept there for several weeks.
It is best to sow immediately after harvesting the seeds, although they remain viable for several more years. To do this, you need a small plastic tray filled with sand and peat. The first sprouts appear after 2-5 weeks. Germination is equally good at different times of the year while maintaining room temperature around 20-23 degrees. Emerging shoots are transplanted into separate containers.
Pests and diseases
With high humidity, dark spots appear on the leaves of the perennial. Also, the plant may be attacked by a spider mite or mealybug. In such cases, white lumps or translucent cobwebs appear on the leaf plates. To solve the problem, it is necessary to treat the bush with a special solution. Stems and foliage are gently wiped with a cotton pad. Processing is carried out regularly until the pests are completely destroyed. In advanced cases, insecticides are used.
If the plant is outdoors, it may attract snails and slugs.
List of possible problems:
- Lack of flowering. In low light conditions.
- Yellow and drooping leaf blades. Poor drainage soybeans, too much watering.
- Pale foliage. Insufficient illumination.
- Drying of the tops of the leaves. Low air humidity.
There are some interesting facts about this culture. More about them:
- This is an endemic plant that does not grow anywhere else in the world.
- On the Australian continent, you can buy souvenirs and handicrafts from dried flowers in local shops.
- One of the varieties of Anigozanthos Menglaz is placed on the botanical emblem of the state of Western Australia.
- In its homeland, the flower is protected by the state. For the right to collect, you will need to obtain a special license.
- When buying, you need to pay attention to at least 2-3 flowers on the stem. If you take a copy with closed buds, then there is a risk that they will not open at all.
- Cut flowers can last up to three weeks in a vase with proper care.
- Raw materials for the production of cosmetics are extracted from the leaves of the plant.
Anigozanthos is a valuable and beautiful flower, which is used both for decorating the interior and as part of exquisite bouquets. This is a good gift for those who are engaged in floriculture.