Welcome to Hopes & Dreams, an inspirational and fun-filled website dedicated to those planting the seed of hope and encouragement. Inside you’ll find fascinating articles about God’s awesome creations, imaginative games and creativity for all. A place to sow; a place to grow.

What’s That in the Bushes?

Oh, my—it looks like a LION’S TAIL!

The Lion’s Tail roars into autumn, producing velvety orange flowers that resemble the tufted tail of the King of the Beasts. This shrub, which grows among the lions in its native home of South Africa, is as big and bold as its namesake and occasionally bites an ungloved hand.

Lion's Tail

This plant is perfect for borders and butterfly gardens. It grows vertically, shooting straight up, and produces a blanket of fragrant narrow leaves and spiked fuzzy flowers. It’s definitely a dazzler, bringing a little pride to the joys of the garden.

The Lion’s Tail grows fast, easily reaching a height of six feet with a three-foot or more spread. If you want to tame the growth of this lion, you must contain it. Planting it in a container will minimize its growth, making it easier to handle. 

This plant prefers warm weather and will grow as a perennial in zones 8-11. If you live in a cooler climate, plant as an annual and enjoy it for the season or pot in a large container so it can be moved indoors to survive the cold of winter.  

This low maintenance plant needs full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, it becomes drought tolerant, requiring little water. Fertilize in spring, and prune only as needed to control its shape and size.

Blooming begins in the fall and extends through early winter. In warmer climates, blooms often last through spring. Cut flowers are long lasting and make beautiful arrangements. Dried blooms retain their color for a stunning potpourri. Just be sure to leave a few of the blossoms on the bush for the traffic jam of nature that will flock to your garden—the Lion’s Tail is a favorite nectar fountain hangout for hummingbirds, butterflies, and honeybees. You’ll be the buzz of the neighborhood!

Want to share some Lion’s Tail?

Plant InformationMultiply your plants and share with friends by using one of the following propagating techniques:

Seed: The seed of the Lion’s Tail is located in the prickly flower head. It’s ready to harvest when this pod becomes dry and brown. Remove pod from plant, open, and shake seeds gently onto paper or into a bag. Allow seeds to dry, and then place in a container for storage. Seeds may be sown outdoors in spring after the last frost, or indoors at 68 degrees. Plant seeds at a depth of two times the diameter of the seed. Germination will occur in 10 days.

Cuttings: Clip a 3” cutting from new growth of plant. Dip end of cutting in a powdered rooting hormone and place in well-drained soil. Stem should take root in 2-4 weeks.

By Laurie Cervantez

Edited by Christian Editing Services

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