What is Leucospermum? Leucospermum is a genus of flowering plants that belongs to the Protea family. The Leucospermum genus consists of approximately 50 species, most native to South Africa where its natural habitat includes mountain slopes, scrubland and forests. Depending on the variety, Leucospermum ranges from low-growing ground covers to small trees. Some varieties have become popular indoor plants, valued for the colorful, pincushion-like blooms. Read on to learn how to grow Leucospermum in your home or garden.
Leucospermum Growing Conditions
Outdoors, Leucospermum hardiness is limited to growing in the warm climates of USDA plant zones 9 through 11.
Leucospermum growing conditions include full sunlight and poor, well-drained, acidic soil. Drainage is so critical, in fact, that the plant is often placed on elevated mounds or slopes.
Similarly, plants may not survive in rich soil or in crowded conditions where air circulation is limited. For this reason, the plant, whether grown indoors or out, should not be fertilized.
Indoor plants prefer sandy, well-drained potting mix. Bright, indirect light, along with temperatures between 65 and 75 F. (18 to 24 C.) produces their lush blooms.
Leucospermum Plant Care
As mention above, Leucospermum plant care consists primarily of keeping the plant well drained and aerated. Although the plant is somewhat drought-tolerant, it benefits from regular water during warm, dry weather. Water early in the morning so the plant has all day to dry before the arrival of cooler temperatures in evening. Water at the base of the plant and keep the foliage as dry as possible.
A layer of mulch keeps the soil dry and staunches growth of weeds. However, keep the mulch away from the base of the plant to prevent rot and other problems caused by excess moisture.
Indoor plants should be watered deeply, but only when the potting mix is dry. Like outdoor plants, the foliage should be kept as dry as possible. Be careful not to overwater, and never let the pot stand in water.
Whether Leucospermum is grown inside or out, be sure to remove fading blooms to encourage continued blooming.