Anigozanthos, commonly known as kangaroo paw, is widely regarded for their gorgeous, showy flowers. Native to Australia, these plants have many varieties and bloom colors to choose from, and their low water needs make them perfect for the water wise garden in Southern California. Their unusual tubular-like flowers look almost like animal paws, kangaroo paws to be more precise, as they are also covered with a gentle fuzz. Kangaroo paws are fast becoming one of the more popular plants in the landscape.
Kangaroo paws, which have many different varieties and flower color, are often found in blooms of red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and white. They bloom in spring, summer, and fall making them an almost year-round, eye-catching addition to your garden.
Kangaroo Paw comes in many colors, including this deep red
Landscape Planting – Hyacinthus orientalis Basics
Botanical Name: Anigozanthos spp.
Common Name: Kangaroo Paw
Type: perennial shrub
Native Range: Australia
Size: 6 to 12 inches tall, 3 to 6 inches wide
Bloom Time: Spring
Bloom Color: White, red, pink, purple, and blue
Sun: Full sun to partial shade
Growth Rate: Moderate
Water & Soil: Low water needs once established, soil should be well draining but moist for best results
Maintenance: Cut entire plant down to 6 inches after bloom
Suggested Use: Group planting, border plants, specimen planting
Fuzzy, tubular flowers give Kangaroo Paw its name
For landscape planting, kangaroo paws grow best in full sun. They tend to need six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily and tend to take intense afternoon sun well. Our landscape designers at Creative Concepts Landscape will be happy to look over your property and determine areas that are optimal for these types of plants.
Our designers can take a look at your property and see if hyacinth’s needs can be met. We create a design plan for all of our consultations to determine what plants and needs match each individual property. Kangaroo paw makes an excellent addition to colorful spring gardens with their eye-catching blooms. Their long light green leaves and beautiful flowers can be incorporated into many different design types. Again, Creative Concepts Landscape will help to determine the best location on your property, or create the conditions to promote a healthy, beautiful garden.
Kangaroo paws have moderate water requirements and prefer to stay in somewhat moist, but well-draining soil. Once they are established, they are somewhat drought tolerant, although they will show signs of drought stress if water is too low for long periods in intense heat. To look their best, they will need irrigation systems or regular hand watering, often up to twice a week if it is not raining regularly. Creative Concepts Landscape has installed many irrigation systems (drip and sprinkler), and we would be happy to take a look at your property to come up with a design that could meet kangaroo paws’ needs.
Kangaroo paws need well-draining soils, which much of the soil in Southern California is. Often, you will want to add potting soil to increase the organic content of the soil. Creative Concepts Landscape will determine what conditions would be best for hyacinth in your landscape and make the necessary additions and changes.
A close up of Kangaroo Paw bloom. These plants bloom in spring through fall, making them a colorful addition to the garden almost year-round.
Pruning & Maintenance
Kangaroo paws have maintenance needs, from occasional heavy pruning, to making sure they have adequate water (but not too much). In many cases, providing supplemental water for these plants, especially while they are becoming established in the landscape, is the highest maintenance requirement. Creative Concepts Landscape has been installing irrigation systems for over twenty years. We will be happy to schedule a consultation and come up with an irrigation system plan and install it. Creative Concepts landscape also repairs and refurbishes existing irrigation systems, so they are in optimal, efficient condition.
Outside of maintaining an irrigation system for kangaroo paws, they will need some pruning when their flowers begin to fade. The blooms, stalks, and leaves can be severely trimmed back (leave around 6 inches of growth) after the flowers have faded. Creative Concepts Landscape has options for maintenance schedules. Many of our clients have us maintain their property weekly or two times a month, however we also offer periodic cleanups. These cleanups range from four times a year, twice a year, and sometimes once a year. We will be happy to talk with you and determine a maintenance/cleanup schedule that fits your property needs.
Botanical engraving of Anigozanthos rufus (red kangaroo paw), from Voyage in Search of La Pérouse by Jacques Labillardière, 1800
Kangaroo paws have such unique, striking flowers that they are becoming a cultivated landscape favorite in Southern California. Their many different color choices make them all the more alluring. Creative Concepts Landscape gets many requests for garden installations, of which kangaroo paw can be a beautiful addition. Our team of designers and technicians has decades of experience designing and installing gardens.
Creative Concepts Landscape creates a landscape plan and design for your specific property characteristics along with your wants. Our highly experienced designers will be able to see what plant types and layout will complement your landscape’s existing features to come up with a planting design plan.
Whether it’s Australia, or La Canada, Ca – Kangaroo Paw is at home in many gardens
Thank you for joining us again in this week’s horticultural adventures. Please come back next Wednesday for out next blog post, and as always, contact us for all your landscape needs!
By Daniel Williams
Client Liaison for Creative Concepts Landscape