Garden Tips

Sugar bush: Cultivation and care of the African plant

Sugar bush: Cultivation and care of the African plant

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Most exotic plants come from far away and are difficult to plant here. But not the African sugar bush. Growing and maintaining it is easy.

The sugar bush comes from Africa

The sugar bush, known as Protea in specialist circles, comes mainly from Africa and even occurs in over 100 different species. Even in Australia, species-related proteas could be found in Australia by expert botanists. In our latitudes it became known especially in the flower trade due to its striking flowers, which, when tied up alone, have a decidedly decorative effect.

Incidentally, the royal protea is considered the national flower of South Africa, which in turn shows how beautiful this plant is. For everyone who wants to get the sugar bush in the garden, everything here for growing and caring for the African plant.

Plant the sugar bush

The sugar bush thrives best with us as a container plant. For this purpose, sowing should take place in spring - if possible in the half-shaded field, because the sugar bush hardly mind temperature fluctuations, and even encourage its growth. However, frost temperatures should be largely avoided. You have to plant the seeds about a finger deep in pots that can optimally drain the irrigation water, since you have to keep the seeds moist throughout.

However, you can usually plant Proteas outdoors without any problems. To do this, however, you should select a protected location and the floor in advance e.g. Enrich with compost or fertilizers. The bush is also suitable for keeping in the winter garden.


You should put the seeds in hot water (about 50 degrees) for about 30 minutes in advance and then let them dry well on a cotton cloth before putting them in the ground. You should also use a mixture of humus peat, sand and a little bit of perlite as soil for cultivation.

Then you need to be patient until the first signs of plant growth become visible. Sometimes this only takes 3 weeks, sometimes it takes 2 months. As an alternative to self-planting, you can of course also buy larger sugar bush plants in the well-stocked garden center. When buying, however, you should pay attention to the country of origin of the plants, in order to ensure problem-free application outdoors.

Care of the African plant

➤ Move container plants:

As soon as the self-grown seedlings in the form of leaves become visible or have grown, you should bring the sugar bushes to a moderately sunny location.

➤ Pour:

During a whole season you always have to water the sugar bush, which, depending on the variety, has a really impressive bloom, which largely resembles a thistle. In order to absolutely avoid waterlogging, you can also keep the plant moist with a spray bottle.

➤ Fertilize:

You should only use additional fertilizers if necessary because the plant is naturally at home on nutrient-poor soils. However, if you are fertilizing, you must definitely use a phosphate-free fertilizer, as this can promote the flowering.


It is best to apply some bark mulch around the outdoor plant, because it can store moisture very well in the long term.

➤ Repotting:

If you have to repot the plant once in the course of its life, this should be done as a whole if possible, because it has a very sensitive root system.

➤ Wintering:

Proteas can only tolerate our winter frost to a limited extent, which is why you should overwinter the plants in a cool but as bright a room as possible. During this time, they may only be watered a little to be able to go into a kind of regenerative winter break. From time to time, ventilate the area in which the Protea hibernates to prevent fungal diseases on the plant.