Sugarbush Protea Growing Guide

Protea repens, Protea susannae, Protea compacta and hybrids

Sugarbush Protea

Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with plenty of compost or other organic matter.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

Cold tolerance is limited for this semi-tropical shrub. Sugarbush is injured by winter temperatures below 25°F (-4°C), so the plants grow best in warm climates.


In early spring, cover the root zone with rich compost topped by a layer of organic mulch.


Single Plants: 7' 10" (2.40m) each way (minimum)
Rows: 7' 10" (2.40m) with 7' 10" (2.40m) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out purchased plants at any time except the hottest part of summer, setting plants at the same depth they grew in their containers. Water regularly to encourage new root development during the first year after planting. In containers, use one plant per 14-inch (35 cm) pot.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Native to South Africa, sugarbush protea is valued by plant collectors for its large, exotic blossoms that appear in the warm season. The nectar was once collected and processed into syrup. Sugarbush is challenging to grow outside its native range, but plants are often successful in Southern California and warm Mediterranean climates.


Sugarbush blossoms are hugely popular as cut flowers, and trimming off spent flowers also encourages the plant to produce more blossoms. Sugarbush can be pruned at any time to control the plant’s size.


Leathery sugarbush leaves are rarely nibbled by animals or insects. Branches that mysteriously die should be pruned out.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Sugarbush Protea