Monday, February 11, 2013

Gardening Tip - How to Divide a Kangaroo Paw

Every 3 years, Kangaroo Paw plants (Anigozanthos flavidus) can be dug up and divided.  Doing this allows you to get free plants (Woo-Hoo!!) as wells as healthier plants especially if you use these Australian natives in containers.  The plant needs to have a root ball that is at least 18 inches wide and deep to be ready for dividing.  The best time to do this is January through March here in San Diego.  Here are the steps;

1)     Pull the Kangaroo Paw from the pot or the ground.

    2)     Trim all leaves, leaving only about 12 inches.

3)     Lay the plant on its side.

4)     Take a pointed shovel and drive it into the side of the root ball (right into the middle). 

5)     Pry the root ball into 2 halves.
      6)     Repeat the process with the shovel so that now you have 4 equal parts.
7)     Plant each new Kangaroo Paw into a 5 gal pot.  The root ball should fill about half of the pot.  Fill the rest of the pot with potting soil.  A 5 gallon pot works best because it will keep the water close to the roots of the new plant.
8)     Put 5 Best-Paks in the pot, or any other slow release fertilizer to slowly feed the new plant.

9)     Water immediately.

10)   Place the pot in a part shade location while the new roots grow. Water every other day unless it rains.

11)     After 1 month, plant the Kangaroo Paw in the ground or a bigger pot.

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