Leucospermum ‘Tony’s Choice’

pincushion protea
Excellent cut flower in yellow-red range. Low water. Good in a container. No phosphorus fertilizer.
height 3–5
width 3–5ft
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Drought, Fog, Pots, Wind
Low – Moderate
Many leucospermums are from Mediterranean climates of South Africa, so they adapt well to California, particularly along the coast. They appreciate good drainage, but they’re somewhat adaptable to heavier soil as long as they’re in a sunny spot and watering is infrequent (once established). Leucospermums will grow and look their best when watered deeply every other week to once a month during summer. With sharp drainage, they will tolerate even more water.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing Bloodmeal, Fish Emulsion, Low Needs, No Phosphorus
origin Hybrid, South Africa
15–17, 20–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Giving this plant all purpose fertilizer will kill it immediately! Generally fertilizer is not necessary. Leucospermums prefer a mildly acidic soil, and if your PH is on the high side, (one cause of yellowing leaves) you can add cottonseed meal, iron, or other mild acidifying fertilizer to adjust it. They appreciate nitrogen in the form of fish emulsion or blood meal, but never give them any significant phosphorus and avoid potassium.
Leucospermums have showy pincushion flowers at the branch tips in late spring through early summer. These flowers go through a range of color shades as they develop and are loved by hummingbirds. They are a choice cut flower and the long straight stems make them perfect for display. Once flowers are mature they shed cleanly from the plant on their own.
Naturally pincushion proteas have a thick bushy form, but they can be kept smaller and made even bushier by pruning. Don’t prune more than two years of growth (where the old woody leafless stems start), or you risk the plant not budding back. They can even be groomed into modest-sized formal hedges.