FAQ - Growing Proteas
How to grow proteas - frequently asked questions and answers
This page is under construction while Charles transfers information from the old discussion forum to the new one and compiles this document.
However, feel free to take it as it comes and use it for what it's worth. ;-)
Can I propagate proteas from cuttings?
Growing proteas from cuttings is usually very successful and thus rewarding. Cuttings should be taken from semi-hardened plant material - usually the new growth from the last growing season (either autumn or spring) which has hardened off for a few months. Spring shoots would be ready for cutting late summer/early autumn and autumn shoots late winter/early spring. Best time to harvest protea cuttings seems to be early autumn before the cooler winter months.
The most successful cuttings are by far from the semi-hardened side shoots which come from just below a forming bud or flower. Cuttings should be taken in the early morning when it is cool & moist and the cut material should be kept fully hydrated - placed in a plastic bag and sprayed with water. They should only be kept for a few hours before treatment and planting in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
The leaves on the bottom 2/3 of stem should be carefully removed - and when planted, should be planted to 1/3 of total length. Treating cuttings with a plant hormone increases the chances of success. These you should be able to find at your nursery.
You should plant them in a mix of 2 parts coarse washed river sand to one part good quality peat moss. The cuttings will strike most readily in a warm, moist environment - mist watering systems work well. Adequate ventilation around the plant is important to prevent fungal infections, and the cuttings should be given a drenching with with a general purpose fungicide like Captan or Benlate before being planted.