How to Grow Kangeroo Paw — Anigozanthos

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Anigozanthos–commonly called kangaroo paw–is an herbaceous perennial that bears unique tubular in shape, fuzzy flowers that resemble a kangaroo paw. The flowers appear on branched or unbranched stems that grow several feet above the foliage. Flower colors range from red, pink, green, yellow, and orange.

Anigozanthos has strap-like leaves and a clumping growth habit. Flower stalks can often tower over leaf clumps, some growing 5 to 6 feet tall.

Anigozanthos prefers warm, dry areas in full and well-drained soil. Anigozanthos is short-lived and will become dormant under dry conditions of late summer and fall.

Anigozanthos is a genus of 11 species of evergreen, clump-forming perennials native to Southwestern Australia.

Get to know Anigozanthos

  • Plant type: Evergreen perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 10-15
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 9
  • Height and width: 24 inches (60cm) to 5 feet (1.5m) tall or more depending on the variety
  • Foliage: Lance- or strap-shaped, light to dark green leaves, and erect, slender sometimes branched stems
  • Flowers: Terminal racemes or panicles of unusual 2-lipped, tubular flowers said to resemble a kangaroo’s paw densely covered wtih red, orange, yellow, or green woolly hairs
  • Bloom time: Spring to midsummer
  • Uses: Border interest, cut flower, greenhouse
  • Common name: Cat’s paw, kangaroo paw
  • Botanical name: Anigozanthos
  • Family name: Haemodoraceae
  • Origin: Southwestern Australia
Kangaroo Paw flowers, Anigozanthos flavidus

Where to plant Anigozanthos

  • Grow Anigozanthos in full sun.
  • Grow Anigozanthos in moist, but well-drained, humus-rich, sandy loam.

When to plant Anigozanthos

  • Set container-grown Anigozanthos in the garden in spring or autumn.

Planting and spacing Anigozanthos

  • Space Anigozanthos 24 to 32 inches apart.

How to water and feed Anigozanthos

  • Water Anigozanthos to keep the soil just moist.
  • Fertilize Anigozanthos with an all-purpose time release fertilizer in spring.

Anigozanthos care

  • Mulch around Anigozanthos during dry weather to retain soil moisture.
  • Drip irrigation is highly recommended; poor drainage often causes early death.

Anigozanthos pests and diseases

  • Anigozanthus is occasionally bothered by bacterial or fungal leaf diseases.

Anigozanthos propagation

  • Sow seed at 55°-64°F (13°-18°C) as soon as ripe.
  • Divide Anigozanthos in spring. Plants should be divided every 2 or 3 years.

Anigozanthos varieties to grow

  • Anigozanthus flavidus, tall kangaroo paw. Leaves 15 to 18 inches high; flowers can be yellow, pink, or red on stalks 5 to 6 feet high; most commonly cultivate species.
  • A. humilis, cat’s paw. Small species just 3 to 6 inches high with grey-green sickle-shaped leaves; chartreuse green flowers with yellow; short-lived.
  • A. manglesii, red and green kangaroo paw. Small species grows 8 to 12 inches high with light gray-green leaves; flowers are deep greed with bright red bases and stems.
  • A. rufus, red kangaroo paw. Grows 1 to 2 feet high; dark green foliage; showy deep red flowers on branches talks.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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