Protea Cynaroides: the symbolic flower of South Africa
Protea Cynaroides is native to Africa, a continent in which the characteristics are very different from the climatic point of view compared to those present in Italy, there may be difficulties in cultivation in the garden or even inside the pot. First, shrubs have a tendency to empty at the bottom over time, which means fewer flowers. To prevent this from happening, you must be very careful, in particular take care of a pruning that must be followed up to the ground. In this way, the plant is stimulated to produce new branches which, above all, will be more vigorous. Coming from a very sultry climate in which there is exposure to the sun for long hours of the day, Protea Cynaroides requires a very sunny environment. However, this does not mean that it suffers particularly the winter months as long as the temperatures do not drop below freezing.
How to grow Protea Cynaroides
If you are growing Protea Cynaroides in an area where the temperature normally drops below this limit during the winter, you need to protect it with a cloth or something that can maintain a slightly higher temperature. An optimal solution could be to repair it in a greenhouse during the winter period. Another feature that must be taken into consideration to best cultivate the plant is to proceed with a very sustained watering from spring to autumn. It is necessary to water regularly, but be careful not to overdo it, in particular the soil must always remain dry. During the other periods of the year no further precautions are necessary as the rains are sufficient. Finally, as regards the soil, it is better to plant the Protea Cynaroides in an area characterized by dry and well-drained soils. In the case of cultivation in pots, a soil with high percentages of sand and pumice stone must be obtained.
Diseases and treatments
By virtue of its characteristics this plant is almost never attacked by parasites for which diseases are very rare.
Among the most interesting curiosities related to the Protea Cynaroides, there is the one relating to the origin of the name. In fact, the plant was studied and cataloged for the first time in 1735 by Linnaeus who was inspired in the choice of the name by the famous Greek god Proteus. The reason why he chose this name is linked to the myth of Prometheus who was the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. Proteus was capable of changing his own shape and transforming himself into everything. Linnaeus, studying this ability on the part of the plant to change its primordial appearance until the moment it blooms, decided to call it Protea.