Isopogon - Growing Guide

Caring for Isopogon

Conebush, Drumsticks

These plants are a relatively new addition to our website listings and seldom available in large quantities. At times we stock I. anemonifolius and I. dubius. The former has cone-like yellow flowerheads and the latter rose-pink ones.

Isopogon are members of the Proteaceae and of Australian origin. As you would expect, these are greenhouse plants requiring a frost free environment. They can perhaps be grown outside in the shrub border in the hottest coastal locations but their survival over winter cannot be guaranteed.

Under glass these plants are best grown in a loam based compost in full light and in low humidity (ie hot and dry). They need to be watered only sparingly even in the growing season with the addition of a phosphate free liquid fertiliser perhaps once a month. In winter they need to be kept moist but no more than that.

In the rulebook for these plants there is the suggestion that they should be pruned back hard at the start of spring. The stock plant in our show tunnel has however benefited from being left unpruned but, instead, potted on regularly each year to achieve a good sized specimen plant.

I. anemonifolius has grown with us to around 3ft in height with a similar spread. Its cone-like flowerheads are composed of many bracts and slender florets radiating outwards and surrounded by a ruff or dissected leaves. I. dubius is slightly more vigorous and produces flowers either singly or in clusters. Both flower from spring to mid-summer and the cone flowers are long lasting. We have been cutting out the flowerheads in late summer when flowering has finished.


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