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A picture of a Common Sugarbush

Common Sugarbush

Protea repens

Also known as

Sugarbush, Honey Protea

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Half-hardy

H3

RHS hardiness

-5°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

3m

Max

3m

2m

Min

2m

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

A photo of Common Sugarbush
A photo of Common Sugarbush
A photo of Common Sugarbush
A photo of Common Sugarbush
A photo of Common Sugarbush

Overview

The species name of 'repens', meaning 'creeping' is misleading as Protea repens is an upright, much-branched shrub. Protea repens is one of the easiest, most adaptable and reliable proteas in cultivation and has a great cultural heritage as it inspired songs such as "Suikerbos ek wil jou hê", which was composed on Lion's Head near Cape Town! This protea has been found at altitudes up to 1500 metres and can be found scattered in between the other fynbos plants or in dense stands.

Common problems

Harvesting

Flowers can be harvested all year round as some plants in Winterrainfall areas flowers in Winter, while other variants flower into summer.

Propagation

Seed

Only 10% of seed will be viable. The best sowing time is during Autumn and a smoke treatment is beneficial. Sowing depth should be 1.5 times the size of the seed. Germination takes 3-4 weeks.

Cuttings

Cuttings are made from semi-hardwood, 6-10 cm long, of the current season's growth. Dip cuttings in a rooting hormone solution and place in a warm, moist place.

Special Features

Attracts birds

Produces nectar which attracts nectar loving birds.

Attracts useful insects

Attracts insects like ants, bees and butterflies.

Hedge plant

Makes a dense wild screen along a border.

Attractive flowers

Drought resistant

Wind break

Attracts bees

Uses

Medicinal

'Bossiestroop' or bush syrup, boiled from the nectar collected, is used curing coughs and other chest ailments.

Edible

Nectar from the flower can be eaten and is enjoyed by birds and insects.

Cut flower

An excellent adaptable garden plant and cut flower.

Other uses