7 Protea Varieties (Growth Tips & Facts)

There are several protea varieties available in the market.

protea varieties

The ‘Special Pink Ice’ is arguably the most popular and recognizable variety.

Other popular varieties are ‘Pincushion,’ ‘Thistle,’ and ‘Compacta x magnifica’.

Listed below are some of the most common types of protea, what each of these varieties is best suited for, and much more.

1. Special Pink Ice’ is the most recognizable variety

Among the many varieties of protea, ‘Special Pink Ice’ is one of the most recognizable. Its huge, deep pink flowers are used to make cut flowers.

The flower is the national flower of South Africa.

This plant grows to around three meters tall, and blooms from late winter to early spring. Because of its compact, bushy nature, it’s easy to grow in containers.

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Another recognizable variety is the ‘King Protea’. This protea variety has a deep pink flower with white tips.

This variety has long, dark green leaves and is very low-maintenance. This type of protea is native to Madagascar, but it can be grown in many other areas of the world.

The ‘King Protea’ is perhaps the most popular variety. It looks like a crown, and is the national flower of South Africa.

While proteas grow in a wide range of soils, they don’t require fertilizer. Too much phosphorus will kill them.

Make sure to avoid disturbing the roots of the plant. In terms of appearance, ‘King Protea’ is a popular choice.

The flower is a mix of pink and red. In addition to ‘King Protea, there are many other popular varieties, including ‘Little Prince’ and ‘Special Pink Ice’.

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2. Thistle Protea Variety

There are numerous types of proteas, with many of them being used as cut flowers. These plants are commonly found in Cape fynbos and are the most prominent elements of this vegetation.

The flowerheads of these plants are large and stiffly erect. As a result, these plants were cultivated for the purpose of cuttings and became the first commercial proteas in South Africa.

These plants are not difficult to grow, but they do require good soil with adequate drainage.

You can improve the soil by mixing it with grit or coarse sand, which help prevent moisture from pooling around the roots.

Because most proteas evolved in the sun, they need full sunlight during the day. Although they can tolerate partial shade, they do need some shady, protected position.

Several researchers have studied the flowering behavior of the ‘Thistle’ protea variety. They studied the flowering habits of this variety and used plant analysis techniques to determine when it was in flower.

Another study evaluated the flowering time of the protea on Maui. It was conducted by R.A. Criley and P.E. Parvin at the University of Hawaii.

These researchers also reported that the flowering time of the ‘Thistle’ protea was significantly shorter than the ‘Red Sunset’ protea variety.

3. Compacta x magnifica

The Compacta x magnifica protea variety is the most commonly planted of all the proteas. Its leaves are large and vary in shape.

They are hairy when young but turn leathery as the plant matures. They are a dark green color with red to yellow midribs.

They are the second largest flowering protea and make a striking addition to any garden. They grow between one and two meters in height and spread from a low bush to a large tree.

The compacta x magnifica protea variety is native to Australia. It grows to four feet tall, and its blooms can last throughout the winter.

The Compacta x magnifica variety grows in soils with some alkalinity.

The flowers are salmon pink or light red. Compacta x magnifica protea varieties are a great choice for containers. They are a hardy plant and are perfect for smaller gardens.

The Compacta x magnifica protea variety is a dwarf version of the well-known Pink Flowerhead. Its needle-like foliage is able to retain water, redistribute it, and has a crimson flower.

Compacta x magnifica plants need more water than other proteas. However, they are a drought-resistant perennial and look great as a hedge or container.

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4. Pincushion

There are several types of pincushions. The Outeniqua Pincushion is particularly hardy, tolerant of higher temperatures and a wider range of soils than most other pincushions.

It also tolerates sandier soils well.

The Outeniqua Pincushion is a native of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikama Mountains in South Africa, where it is confined to high altitudes between 150 and 500m.

To plant pincushions, start with a small bed or pot, and dig a planting hole about twice as deep as the container.

Plant carefully, and make sure you don’t plant your pincushion deeper than it was in the nursery bag.

Be sure to water the pincushion vigorously once it is planted, as it can last for a long time. If you are growing your pincushion in a container, it will be easier to water it.

The Pincushion protea is native to southern Africa, but has been cultivated around the world.

Its attractive, spiny stems produce an abundance of yellow flowers that contrast with the grey leaves.

This variety blooms from June to October, and is good for containers. It is frost and drought-tolerant and does well in both hot and cold climates. These plants also make good cut flowers and are available in a range of colors.

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5. Special Green Ice

There are many different varieties of Protea, but the Special Pink Ice is one of the most beautiful. This variety has stunning pink blossoms.

It is the national flower of South Africa and is known for its long vase life. It is a great choice for small gardens, as it grows up to 6 inches tall and is quite low maintenance. Its flowers have a wonderful smell, which is particularly noticeable when the flower first opens.

You can grow the protea from cuttings or seeds. Seeds germinate quickly, and cuttings need at least six weeks to mature and produce flowers.

The plants are hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, they can also survive in high temperatures up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to keep them out of humid areas. It is also important to consider the size of the pot when purchasing seeds.

Proteas come in a variety of shapes and colors. The most popular of these is the golden protea. It has yellow tips and creamy-white flowers.

The stems are tough and water-efficient, making them great plants for small spaces.

This variety is also known as sugarbush and fynbos. Its flowers are beautiful and attract many insects, so it’s important to keep in mind that it grows best in alkaline soil.

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6. Protea cynaroides

Protea cynaoids produce flower heads with bracts that surround them. Flowerheads vary in size from five to twelve inches, and they range in color from cream white to deep pink. Paler pinks have a silver sheen and are the most desirable colors.

These plants can reach six feet tall and have thick stems and large, shiny green leaves. Their large, pointed flowerheads are prized as cut flowers.

Protea cynae are found in the Mediterranean and can thrive in any soil with good drainage. Their hardy roots are drought-resistant, and they are resistant to common pests and diseases.

They are easy to propagate from semi-woody cuttings taken in the summer, and are often regarded as a good choice for garden landscaping. The different types are ideal for coastal gardens, but can also grow in drier areas.

One of the most popular types of Protea cynarodes is the king protea. It is named for the Greek goddess Cynara, and it has 6 to 10 flower heads in a season. The king protea has 81 varieties according to horticulturists. The flower heads are surrounded by silvery hairs, which make them very attractive to birds.

7. Cynaroides

The Protea cynaroides is a species with a large range of color variations. Although it is technically a species, there are several races and localities that have were called varieties.

These include the Phillipskop varieties, which differ in flower color, bloom time, and habitat. It is also possible to find pure white forms, which are native to South Africa and are common along the Saddle Path.

These perennial shrubs can reach two meters in height. They have glossy, leathery, dark green leaves. These plants grow best in a Mediterranean climate with direct sun exposure.

They are resistant to light frost. Although they grow well in gardens, their habitat is shrinking and they’re being removed from our landscapes.


Explore the diverse world of Protea varieties with our comprehensive guide. From the striking King Protea to the delicate Blushing Bride, we delve into the characteristics, care tips, and unique traits of each species. Uncover the beauty and versatility of these stunning blooms, perfect for adding a touch of exotic elegance to any garden or floral arrangement. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a budding enthusiast, our article provides valuable insights to help you cultivate and appreciate these remarkable plants.

Protea Varieties: Conclusion

Some people prefer to grow one variety over another. Protea cynaroides has wide open petals, whereas other varieties fold in tightly.

While the petals of some proteas are green or yellow, those of this species are more colorful and attractive.

This is the perfect plant to grow in your garden. It also propagates easily.

While it may not look impressive on your balcony or in your backyard, it is an excellent choice if you want to grow it in a rocky soil.

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