Leonotis - Growing Guide

Caring for Leonotis leonurus

Lion’s ear

These are upright and semi evergreen or deciduous shrubs which have flowering spikes up to 4ft or so in height. These spikes are covered in whorls or rosettes of tubular double lipped orange to red tubular flowers. The deep green leaves are 2-5in long and lance shaped. The flowers open from the bottom of the spike and, progressively, up to the top.

This is a plant which originates from South Africa so it is only half hardy except in the milder parts of the country. If grown outside it needs to be grown in shelter in full sun. It does not need plant supports for its flower spikes. Outdoor grown plants need modest pruning but, if grown in pots in the greenhouse, it is best to cut them back to more or less ground level in the spring. Indoors it will require a monthly feed with a liquid fertiliser until it flowers which will normally be in the autumn or early winter.

Propagation from greenwood cuttings in the spring is straightforward.


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