When it comes to plants, I am a sucker for the underdog, probably because I think that they all deserve a chance. I feel sorry for the half dead geranium on the bargain table at the store, for the neglected volunteer dill between my neighbor's tomatoes. Giving them the right environment and care so that they can flourish is one of the great sources of happiness for me. During a visit to a local nursery a few years back I saw, amongst all the colorful, spectacularly blooming spring flowers, a plant that attracted my attention because it was so poorly looking and so little outstanding. It was the only one of its kind, and consisted of just a clump of dark green, smooth, sword like leaves; exotic to me because I did not know what it was. There was no name and the lady at the cash register didn't know either.
She let me have it for one dollar. I took it home and since I knew not what requirements it had, I planted it into a larger pot until such a time when I could identify what it was. Looking through my Sunset Garden book to see what it might be did not get me very far, since I had no name to search for and none of the pictures looked anything like what I had. Time went by, my mystery plant blended in with all my other plants and I paid little attention to its progress.
One day I noticed some funny, wooly, one-sided spikes emerge from the clump, then tubular, hairy flowers in yellow-green tinged with red opened up. They were striking, curved at the tips. Finally I could put a name to my exotic acquisition, Anigozanthos, more commonly known as Kangaroo Paw. Aptly named, for indeed, the tips of these hairy flowers are split into six segments making them look just like a paw and they are natives to the open eucalyptus forests of western Australia. Light sandy soil or heavier soil with good drainage is one of the requirements for good growth. They love full sun and are thirsty plants that do not like to dry out.
They tolerate temperatures to just above freezing and can be brought indoors in winter where they love a sunny window. Liquid fertilizer applications every two weeks during the blooming period are recommended. Since I live in a mild climate, I have planted my Kangaroo Paw in the ground and it has grown into a magnificent specimen. The flowering spikes are at least 4-5 feet tall. They bloom from late spring to fall if I cut the spent stems to the ground. As a bonus, the flowers attract hummingbirds.
Today this is one of my favorites. Everybody comments because it is such a huge and unusual plant and all this because I felt sorry for the poor thing.
The author has a Home and Garden Decor business where she makes sure that her customers get the best deal as well as expert advice. She is also an avid gardener with many years of experience and likes to share her knowledge with others. Find great value here ==> http://www.buyhomeandgardendecor.com/home.html