Grow and Care Guide to Serrurias

Going.Local
Published on October 19th 2020
2
A close up of a flower
Serruria species are fascinating twirling flower heads, covered in white feathery hairs that shine in the noonday sun. The tiny shrublets with their spindle-like leaves are great additions to every fynbos garden.
The most well-known, the blushing bride or Serruria florida, has made it onto numerous Pinterest boards, yet are notoriously tricky to handle! Here are some tips to help you along.
A close up of a spiderhead or serruria flower

Selecting a plant

Spiderheads can be tricky even for established gardeners as they require very specific conditions to flourish. If you are a beginner, it might be a good idea to start with supporting fynbos before spending a sizeable amount on a Serruria plant.
A close up of a flower
If you like a challenge, then here are some great suggestions for every season:
Winter flowering: Blushing Bride (Serruria florida)
Winter - Spring: Cluster spiderhead (Serruria glomerata), Rose spiderhead (S. rosea)
Autumn-Winter: Golden Spiderhead (S. villosa)
All year: Common Pin Spiderhead (S. fasciflora)
Blushing brides will require an optimum low (7 degrees) / high (20 degrees) temperature difference to germinate, so it is advised to work from cuttings or saplings. Hybrids of S. florida and S. rosea are available on the market if you will find the species a tad hard to grow.
A close up of a spiderhead or serruria flowerhead

Where to Buy

Several garden centres stock them on a rotational basis. For dedicated stockists see below:
Several other nurseries occasionally stock one of the species or hybrids under indigenous flora.
If you are keen to start growing more indigenous flora then you can always ask if your local garden centre would consider stocking a small selection.
A close up of a spiderhead or serruria flower

Grow & Care Guide

Plants should be planted in Autumn to have time to establish during the colder months. Similarly, it is advised that seeds should be sown in Autumn as it requires the daytime high and nighttime low to germinate. Treat with a fungicide before and after sowing.
  • Soil: Sandy
  • pH: Acid
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Pros: Good container plants
Serruria, like other members from the family Proteaceae, are prone to a root pathogen Phytophthora that can cause sudden death syndrome. Infected plants are normally removed completely and destroyed (burned or isolated). For more information on Proteaceae care visit the article link above.
A close up of a spiderhead or serruria flower

In Habitat tours

Large swaths of Serruria flower during July through August and into the first months of spring. Have a look at the Fynbos virtual tours for a detailed guide on when to visit each area for the best displays.
Each species is unique and you will find that visiting different areas, i.e. Bainskloof / Piketberg / Gansbaai, will allow you to get a glimpse of each.

For more tips and tricks on growing fynbos, make sure to have a gander at the care guides below and let us know if you have found it helpful in the comments below!

A close up of a spiderhead or serruria flower
Bibliography:
Ackerman, A., Ben-Jaacov, J., Brits, G. J., Malan, D. G., Coetzee, J. H., & Tal, E. (1993, October). The development of Leucospermum and Serruria as flowering pot plants. In III International Protea Research Symposium 387 (pp. 33-46).
Brits, G. J. (1986). Cordifolium and Serruria florida (Proteaceae) seeds. South African Journal of Botany, 52(4), 286-290.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play