Best Steps To Grow Conebushes In Containers

Best Steps To Grow Conebushes In Containers

Best Steps To Grow Conebushes In Containers

Best Steps To Grow Conebushes In Containers

Conebushes are stunning indigenous of South Africa that thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. They add strong colour and texture to warm climate gardens. Many of the shrubs or tiny trees in this enormous genus are ideal for growing in containers and come in various sizes. Do you want to know how to cultivate leucadendrons in pots? For more information about cultivating leucadendron in containers, continue reading.

History & Origin Of Conebushes

History & Origin Of Conebushes

The cones that are members of the “Conebush” genus produce serve as identifiers. A genus of conebushes known as “Sunshine” are distinguished by the vivid yellow or red colours they take on throughout the winter when they flower. The most prevalent protea in the nation, the most common species of Sunshine Conebush, and one of the most common plants overall, all found in the Cape Floral Kingdom. Knoppiesgeelbos (“bearing cones,” “yellow bush” – as for the English names).

Adscendens (this is the trade name in the cut flower trade, based on the Latin name used in the 1950s). Euryspermum in Clusters (a name coined by Richard Salisbury in 1809 and not used since).Goldentips, Goldtips, Goldtips, and Common Yellowbush In the cut-flower industry.

Conebush (the last four names are still in use), Incisum, Nestflower Conebush, Mini-tulip Conebush (the last two referring to the cup of bracts around the flowerhead in the female).

Red Adscendens, Trailing Euryspermum, Asbos, Geelbos, Rooibos (relating to the leaf colours of grey, yellow, and red), Knopbos, Tolbos (referring to the cones or “tops”), and Kraaltolbos are some examples of Salisbury popular names for plants.

The plant is mostly free of aromatic compounds, like all proteas. However, there are no known herbal or therapeutic benefits for it. They are useless for cooking since they are tannin- and wood-filled.

Their numerous trade names indicate that the flowerheads and cones are employed in the cut flower industry. Common Sunshine Conebush crosses have produced Sylvan Red and Safari Sunset cultivars, both created in New Zealand.

In addition to the Cape, these two cultivars are grown in New Zealand, Australia, Zimbabwe, Hawaii, California, Israel, and France. They are also the most extensively planted proteas in the commercial wildflower trade.

Types Of Conebushes

To grow Conebushes in containers successfully, you should know about the best varieties.

Leucadendron Conebushes

1. Leucadendron Conebushes

Leucadendrons, native to South Africa, are diminutive evergreen trees and shrubs valued for their beautiful flower clusters that resemble cones and are encircled by broad, leaf-like bracts that are frequently coloured.

To generate fruiting cones, both male and female flowers, which are carried on different plants, are necessary. About 80 species make up the genus, and most offer superb winter colour in gardens. Both fresh and dried arrangements benefit significantly from the flower stalks.

Safari Sunset

2. Safari Sunset

Award-winning Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset' (Conebush), a favourite of florists and gardeners, is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with rich, deep-red bracts that grow at the tips of extraordinarily long stems (over 3ft. or 1m) in late summer.

The beautiful bracts of the female flowers, which are ready for plucking and cutting in the fall and winter and spread open to reveal a cream core, further enhance the beauty of the plant.

Galpins Conebushes

3. Galpins Conebushes

Leucadendron galpinii (Galpins Conebush), a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with long erect stems of twisted silver-green foliage, is well-known for its lovely silver seed cones.

The female plants have lovely silver cone-shaped flowers at the apex of their branches in the spring. They are prized by flower designers and look gorgeous in fresh and dried arrangements. The Galpins Conebushes can withstand dryness and freezing (down to 41°F or -5°C), making it a relatively simple plant to grow.

Leucadendron Salignum 'Summer Red'

4. Leucadendron Salignum ‘Summer Red'

Leucadendron salignum ‘Summer Red' is a hardy and striking evergreen shrub with several stems grown for its lovely bracts and brilliant foliage of thin leaves that turn vivid red in spring and summer before fading to pale green. Leathery red and cream bracts encircle cones at the branch terminals, frequently mistaken for flowers.

Leucadendron Salignum 'Winter Red'

5. Leucadendron Salignum ‘Winter Red'

Leucadendron salignum ‘Winter Red' is a tough and striking multi-stemmed evergreen shrub cultivated for its lovely bracts and brilliant foliage of thin leaves that turn vivid purplish-red in the cooler months.

Leathery red and cream bracts encircle cones at the branch terminals, frequently mistaken for flowers. These bracts survive long and look beautiful in fresh and dried arrangements.

Leucadendron Floridum

6. Leucadendron Floridum

Only the low-lying Cape Flats, which stretch from Rondebosch to Kuils River and the Cape Peninsula, are home to this species. It is a type of wetland plant that thrives adjacent to streams or in marshy areas, where its roots are frequently submerged in water during the winter months.

It is a tall, bushy shrub that can grow up to 2 meters tall. It has slender branches and long, narrow leaves covered in silky hairs that shimmer silver when the wind blows through the branches. The involucral leaves encircle male and female flower heads and turn a vibrant yellow in the spring (September to October). Numerous blooms are produced on each stem, making for a very colourful display.

The male and female blooms are yellow, and both beetles and the wind can pollinate it. When the seeds are fully ripe, the females produce spherical silver cones that open to release the small seeds to the ground or allow the wind to carry them away.

According to the South African Red Data List, this magnificent species is critically endangered. Due to habitat degradation brought on by urbanization, agriculture, and foreign exotic species, wild populations have been significantly reduced. Wildflower collecting and unsuitable fire management practices are other threats to the two remaining populations. The plants were propagated and planted at Kirstenbosch to reintroduce them as part of an effort to save this species.

Leucadendron Coniferum

7. Leucadendron Coniferum

The dune conebush is an upright shrub with a single stem that can reach a height of four meters. It is found from the Cape Peninsula in the west, through the coastal regions of the Kogelberg, Kleinmond, and Groenland, to the Klein River Mountains in the east near Hermanus. It grows from sea level to a height of about 300 meters in dense stands on wind-blown sands.

The involucral leaves encircle the flower heads and turn a vivid yellow throughout the plant's springtime flowering season in August and September.

The long, oblong-shaped leaves are slightly twisted and have a pointed tip. The female cones, pollinated by tiny insects, mature to a reddish colour before turning green. The seeds stay in the cones for a long time. This lovely species is in danger from habitat loss brought on by alien tree invasion, pollution, and, in some cases, unethical harvesting.

Leucadendron Salignum

8. Leucadendron Salignum

The most common species of the Proteaceae family is the common sunshine conebush, which may be found in much of South Africa. It is widespread from Port Elizabeth in the east to the north of Ceres in the west, occurring on various soil types from sea level to an altitude of 2 000 m. Its leaf size and the colour of the involucral leaves are also highly diverse.

Its growth pattern is highly erratic in the wild and can reach heights of up to 2 meters. It also has a lengthy flowering season (May to December).

Additionally, the weather for its growth can range from moderate winter temperatures to snow and frost near mountain peaks. A variety of coloured foliage surrounds the flowers. This species is a great contender for breeding as well as a beautiful and well-liked garden plant because of the colourful leaves that surround the blossoms. The leaves range in colour from greenish-yellow to an intense orange-red. It may resprout following fires thanks to its tenacious rootstock.

There are many cultivars and species-to-species hybrids that are grown today that differ significantly from the parent species, most frequently in terms of growth shape, leaf and bract colour, as well as flowering seasons. Many of these were made in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and other nations.

The common sunshine conebush is a natural candidate for the wildflower industry since it responds well to aggressive pruning and may be used to produce cut foliage on a wide scale.

Leucadendron Laxum

9. Leucadendron Laxum

A dense willowy shrub with tiny needle-like leaves, the Bredasdorp conebush has a single stem at ground level and short branches grouped together at the base of the plant. In the spring and early summer (September to October), both the male and female plants develop a profusion of small, bright yellow blooms that insects pollinate.

On the female plants, little rosy-pink to reddish cones appear after the flowers in the summer and remain there until the seeds ripen in the next year's autumn (March). Young seedlings between established plants are relatively uncommon; usually, regeneration only occurs after a fire. The lovely cones can be dried and used in wreaths for Christmas or arrangements of dried flowers.

Grow Conebushes In Containers

Grow Conebushes In Containers

Anything but a filler is a background plant. It serves as a foundation, giving the arrangement structure, emphasizing the plants, and exhibiting some unique qualities. Conebushes are one of my favourite yard base plants and cut flowers.

Conebush, a plant native to South Africa and a member of the Proteaceae family, displays vibrant foliage colour all year round. Throughout the year, the garden is punctuated by vivid green, gold, red, pink, and orange hues, heightening the festive atmosphere in the fall and winter.

Choose The Right Container

Conebush should be planted in a strong container with a loose, well-draining potting mix. At least one drainage hole must be present in the container. It is advisable to use fresh, high-quality potting soil without additional fertilizer.

Soil To Grow Conebushes In Container

Soil To Grow Conebushes In Container

The soil must drain extremely well for conebush plants. They may grow in nearly any kind of sandy, rocky, or loamy soil, as long as the drainage is good. The plants are perfect for a rocky garden since their roots can spread horizontally below the soil surface.

Avoid allowing water to sit on the soil as the roots may become flooded, likely resulting in the plant dying. Increase drainage while growing proteas outdoors by incorporating bark and grit into the soil. Mix peat, gravel, and sand in equal portions for potted proteas. They thrive in soil with few nutrients.

Lighting Requirements

Give plants plenty of airflows and direct sunlight; the more sunlight, the more blossoms will grow.


Water the plants frequently as they begin to establish themselves. Just every two to three weeks should established plants be watered. When the weather is dry, and the plant is around a year old, water it once a week when it starts to set buds and blooms.

Temperature & Humidity

Conebushes may endure temperatures as low as 23°F provided they are planted in the appropriate climate and hardiness zone for the particular species (sometimes lower). They can also withstand temperatures of up to 100°F, but they will perish if exposed to greater temperatures for an extended period of time. Proteas should not be planted in areas with excessive humidity.


Typically, conebushes don't require fertilizer. They may even perish from an excess of phosphorus. Take special care not to disrupt the shallow roots by doing so. Apply a layer of bark or leaves as a mulch far from the trunk. Hand-pull any weeds with care.



Leucadendrons, which belong to the Proteaceae family, is indigenous to South Africa, where they are more frequently known as “spicy conebush.” According to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the name is fitting for a plant whose blossoms have a spicy aroma.

Additionally, the garden plant is dioecious, meaning it has both male and female plants. The female produces a maroon-red cone of flowers, while the male produces a yellow flower head. Both varieties also generate colourful bracts joined to stems by leafy stalks.

It's a good idea to research the kind of leucadendron you like in addition to paying attention to their gender. According to Nurseries Online, some species grow tall while others grow low (and are suitable for containers). According to, most species typically grow to a height of between 8 and 10 feet and a width of between 6 and 8 feet. Leucadendrons are perfect as a screen or privacy hedge since pruning keeps them looking compact, thick, and bushy.



This plant can be multiplied by the use of semi-ripe cuttings or seeds. Typically, the spring or fall seasons are the best times to sow. The winters are cool and damp, and the summers are hot and dry in the fall. If you reside in a cooler climate where the late summers are mild, you should sow in the spring.

Ensure the soil is well-drained, then plant the seeds as deeply as necessary. Add gypsum and pumice sand to the soil mixture if it contains heavy soil, such as clay, to improve drainage. To keep the seeds moist and regulate the temperature, you can cover them with a vermiculite mixture.

Keep the soil moist, but watch out that it doesn't become soggy, as this will cause the seed to rot. If the growth mixture is drying out, add water. Depending on the environment and temperatures, the germination process might take anywhere from 21 to 60 days.

Conebush Care

Conebush Care

Give leucadendron a location with fast-draining, acidic soil and full sun. (It struggles under environments of dense clay or high pH.) Use a cheap soil test kit to check the pH of your soil to be safe. The ideal pH range for soils is 6 or below, while peat moss and sulphur can acidify soils with higher pH levels.

Since it doesn't consume much food, this shrub typically doesn't need fertilizer. If you fertilize, use a plant food that is higher in potassium and lower in nitrogen and phosphorus (the first two numbers on a fertilizer box) (the third number on a fertilizer package).

Planting leucadendron in the open and avoiding plant crowding are wise choices because it enjoys dampness and adequate air circulation. Irrigate earlier in the day so leaves can dry before dusk if overhead watering is the only choice. Once the roots have grown, leucadendron is drought-tolerant but still benefits from routine, deep watering.

Between waterings, allow the soil to dry out a little. To keep weeds under control and preserve moisture, mulch once a year. Keep this shrub trimmed by deadheading it. After the season's flowering is through, prune.

Pests & Diseases Of Conebushes

If you give this plant enough room for air circulation, it won't suffer from serious insect and disease problems. Root rot is the main issue these plants face and can be challenging to manage. The best course of action is prevention. Ensure the soil where the plant is growing has sufficient drainage and is well-ventilated. Use clean tools when pruning the plant to keep any soil or contaminated materials from getting inside the plant.

Best Steps To Grow Conebushes In Containers


These robust evergreens are indigenous to South Africa. In the winter and spring, separate plants produce male and female flowers. Colourful, showy bracts surround small flower clusters in shades of yellow, cream, green, or dark red. Because of their long vase life, long stems, and striking appearance are prized as cut flowers. In full sun, they do best in a well-drained position.

I trust you enjoyed this article on the Best Steps To Grow Conebushes In Containers. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!




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