How to Care for a Lion's Tail Plant

Written by samantha volz
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Leonotis leonurus, also called lion's tail, is a bright green and orange shrub that can add a beautiful dimension to a garden. Lion's tail blooms late in the year, in the fall or early winter. These plants attract butterflies, bees and birds, adding another level of life and colour to your garden or lawn. Providing the proper care for your lion's tail will keep your garden thriving into the winter.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Fertiliser
  • Shovel or rake
  • Hose or watering can

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  1. 1

    Provide as much sunlight as possible for your leonotis leonurus plant. Plant it in an area that receives full sunlight, and keep surrounding plants pruned to allow proper sunlight to reach the lion's tail plant.

  2. 2

    Prune your garden so that the leonotis leonurus plant has enough room to grow properly. At full maturity, lion's tail plants grow to between four and six feet tall, with a branch spread of three to six feet. The plant will thrive best if there is enough room to grow uninhibited. Do no plant other shrubs or trees too close.

  3. 3

    Fertilise in early spring. Use phosphorous-rich fertiliser in the first two years after planting to encourage root development. Mix fertiliser into your soil using a shovel or rake.

  4. 4

    Water with one inch of water per week. Be careful not to water the plant soon after a heavy rainfall, as it will already have the proper amount of water needed for the week.

  5. 5

    Prune as needed for size control. If you are limiting the width or height, remove tall or long branches. Also prune away any dead or damaged branches for a healthier plant.

  6. 6

    Collect seeds if you wish to plant more leonotis leonurus bushes. As the season goes on, the seeds inside the flowers will begin to dry and darken in colour. Carefully remove the seeds from the plant by pinching and gently pulling. Wear gloves when harvesting seeds.

Tips and warnings

  • Leonotis leonurus grows best in Hardiness Zone 10, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. This zone has an annual minimum temperature between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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