Kangaroo paw plants (Anigozanthos spp.) are perennial plants that have six flowers that open up to form the shape of claws. These tubular flowers are covered in tiny colorful hairs that often attract birds. Kangaroo paw plants grow between 2 and 10 feet tall and up to 3 feet wide. Although kangaroo paws can be grown outside in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 and 10, they can be grown in containers in any climate.
Grow your kangaroo paw in a pot that contains a well-draining potting medium. Sand-based mediums are a good choice. In addition, the bottom of the pot should either have drainage holes or a layer of pebbles.
Set your kangaroo paw either outdoors in a sunny location, or indoors near a sunny window. When temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, bring your kangaroo paw indoors if you were allowing them to grow outside.
Water your kangaroo paw regularly so that the soil is moist, but not sopping wet. This is especially important as the flowers are beginning to bud. Overwatering can cause fungus to grow. Kangaroo paws can stand short periods of dry soil, but they are not completely drought tolerant.
Fertilize your kangaroo paw once per month with a low-phosphorous fertilizer, such as an 18-4-12 fertilizer. It is the second number on the fertilizer bag that indicates the percentage of phosphorous.
Remove any dead or dying leaves at the end of the growing season. You need to keep the top of the soil surrounding the kangaroo paw free of dead leaves and debris, otherwise it may become plagued with black spot, a fungal disease.
Watch for aphids and the European brown garden snail, as these are the two most common kangaroo paw pests. Aphids can be removed with a spray of water, and garden snails can be picked off the plant by hand. Early detection is key in keeping your kangaroo paw healthy.