Protea repens / Sugarbush / Seeds

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Protea repens / Sugarbush / Seeds

This is one of the easier Proteas to grow in the UK, tolerating sandy to clay soils and frosts to -5C.  It is a nice upright shrub with tough leathery leaves and beautiful cone shaped flowers about 15cm wide.  The flowers come in shades of pink to red depending on the individual seed.  Flowers come out from June to August in the UK.  The flowers are long lasting on the plant and great as a cut flower.  Plants grow up to about 2.5m.

Protea repens prefers a well drained sandy and acidic soil with low phosphate levels.  A sunny spot is best,which is sheltered against frost.  They can be grown outdoors in a sheltered spot in the South of England, but otherwise best in pots that are overwintered in a well ventilated greenhouse.


Pack of 8 seeds.  Sow in autumn or spring.  Seeds need to be soaked for 24hrs before sowing, preferably in a smoke primer solution.  Flowering starts in years 4 and 5.  Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the packet.

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Hardiness Half hardy evergreen shrub
Flowers June to August
Height 2m - 2.5m
Spread 2m
Conditions  Sun and nutrient-poor acidic well drained soil

Sow in spring or autumn.  Soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water, using a smoke primer disc. After soaking, sow the seeds in a tray of moist well drained seed compost.  Cover with 1cm of dry clean sand and keep at 15-18C.  Let temperatures drop at night.  Germination takes 3-4 weeks, and up to 3 months in cooler conditions.  Move the seedlings to pots when big enough to handle.  


Plant out in nutrient poor acidic sandy soil.  Protect from frosts.  Plants grow well in large pots in a well ventilated conservatory.  Feed occasionally with phosphate-free fertilizer.  Cut deadflower stems to ground level after flowering. Cut 1/3rd of woodier stems back to ground level after flowering.  Frosted plants may recover when the weather improves by sending out new shoots from ground level.

See Growing Advice on more information about growing Proteas.