Expert tips on growing Pincushions successfully
The brightly coloured flower heads of pincushions (Leucospermum) provide gorgeous splashes of colour in the late Winter and Spring garden.
Varieties differ in shape and size, and are available in a variety of warm colours.
Not only do they provide a pretty show in the garden, they also make distinctive and long-lasting cut flowers, AND attract birds to the garden!
They perform best in a sunny and airy position in the garden, with well-drained soil.
Ask for Arnelia Premium potting mix when you visit Cape Garden. This mixture provides the ideal growing medium for your pincushion.
Remember to water your newly purchased pincushion regularly until the plant is fully established.
What's the best time to Prune my pincushion?
Plants will flower each year. Once the plant has finished flowering or the plant has lost its colour and cones have dried out, remove the heads by cutting back the stem (leave 10 – 15cm of healthy stem with at least 5 to 7 healthy leaves.).
Stems which are not flowering be can cut back to the same length. Also remove any weak or unhealthy branches.
What if I have an established pincushion - can I move it or prune it?
Most fynbos do not like root disturbance.
Chances are good that the plant would not survive the transplant.
Prune established plants back in stages - give a week or two in between to reduce shock - and seal it with wound sealer.
Ensure that there are at least 5 to 7 healthy leaves left on the branch before you cut it.
How often should I water my pincushion?
Planted in a container: You do not want the medium to dry out completely.
In a container the plant has a restricted root zone in which to take up water.
Water once a day in windy dry conditions.
Be careful of over watering a medium which does not drain well.
Planted in a garden:
It takes a pincushion up to +- two years to properly establish itself, thus becoming “drought tolerant”.
During this period the plant will need to be watered well. If conditions become very hot and windy, increase the amount of water you apply, as well as when it's flowering.
(Info and photos provided by the fynbos experts: Arnelia)