Protea and Leucodendron in Houston

conroe_joe(9a)August 11, 2003

A while back I purchased seeds of Leucodendron album, L. saliginum, Protea exima, P. mundii, P. nerifolia, and P. repens from Fine Bush People in Africa ( Seeds from most of the species germinated eventually (winter, cool weather germination). Some had a low percent of germination, but nonetheless seemed viable. Likely they can germinate another year if I keep the effort going.

I recommend the nursery because they let you choose how many seeds you want, and then you pay about ten cents per seed. The seeds seemed to be quite alive and viable; low germination is to be expected for seeds of some wild shrubs.

I had high hopes for the species listed above, they have reputations as being somewhat easy, at least by comparison with others in the two genera.

I now have only two plants of P. repens left. As summer came on, with the heat and first round of rains, I lost about one quarter of whatever germinated. Then, when I moved them to larger pots, I lost another fraction. I continually applied captan after every rain or transplant, and it did seem to help (but not much).

Lately, weÂve been over 100 F, with rain in mid-July and again the past 2 days. Everything has died but the two P. repens plants, they are about six inches tall. My goal is to grow them outdoors, it is certainly not too cold for them here. Cross your fingers.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fine Bush People

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safariofthemind(z7b NC)

Thanks for sharing your experience. RJ

    Bookmark   August 15, 2003 at 4:29PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)


Brave of you to try these. I have been experimenting with protea from seed for some time. It's true that some seem to damp off the minute temperatures get high. But I think there is some variability, this year I have had a Protea subvestita seeding survive so far. Even though this summer in DC wasn't very hot, it was still much hotter and more humid than the alpine habitat of that species, which is probably something like 72/52f in the summer. Based on my analysis of the various summer rainful species, and my general experience growing SA plants, I'd also recommend you try Protea caffra, gazensis and simplex. But these, unlike P. repens, are summer-rainfall species and would be helped by building a winter rain shield if your area has heavy winter rains.
Remember that phosphorus containing fertilizer will kill them, you probably already have read that but it's easy to be fertilizing a nursery tray and accidentally keep pouring.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2003 at 3:10PM
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Garrickza(South Africa)

Found a new site that may be of interest.. called Protea Atlas Project. Link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Protea Atlas Project

    Bookmark   September 20, 2003 at 8:35PM
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