EUROPEAN PROTEAS FARM produces PROTEAS FLOWERS in Naxos Island. According to the University of Athens Research the climate in Naxos is equal to the one of California. Proteas flowers have found a new home in Greece.
We own a great variety of PROTEAS, over 25 species.
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Protea is the botanical name of a genus of flowering plants that have a furry flower head, or inflorescence, created from many individual flowers grouped closely together at their base. In 1735, Swedish zoologist Carolus Linnaeus named the unusual plant--which grows in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors--after the Greek god Proteus, who was known for his ability to change form at will.
Part of the Proteaceae family, these flowering plants have origins that reach back 300 million years to Africa and Australia when the two continents were part of Gondwanaland, a former super-continent. More than 1,500 types of protea grow in the wild, though commercial growers produce only about 30 varieties. Another name for the plant is sugarbush.
Due to climate and other growing considerations, many undomesticated varieties are not viable for commercial production. Nevertheless, an assortment of farm-grown varieties are available, including Protea nitida, Protea rubropilosa, Protea scolopendriifolia, Protea susannae, Protea holosericea, Protea punctata, Protea aristata, Protea ungustata, Protea canaliculata, Protea effusa, Protea restionifolia, Protea aspera and many others.
In the wild, protea are most commonly found along South Africa's and Australia's southern and southwestern coastal areas. Some flower plantations in those areas also grow the blossoms for harvest. In the United States, commercial protea growers are located primarily in California and Hawaii.
Proteas can be a challenge to grow due to the specific climates and soil they require. For example, they need good drainage, thus requiring regular watering to keep roots moist, yet they do poorly in areas with excessive humidity. They also are not cold-tolerant and will succumb to even a light frost. Unlike most plants, protea grow best in acidic soil with poor nutrients. They do well on sunny slopes and can even withstand windy locations successfully.
Proteas make lovely landscaping plants, but they are more well-known for their use in floral arrangements. They are especially popular due to their long vase life--up to two weeks with proper care. Steps include cutting about 1 inch from each stem and placing the blossoms immediately into a vase of water and floral preservative. For best results, mix proportions according to directions on the floral food packet. Re-cut the stems and replace the solution every few days. After the first week, the leaves will start to blacken. Simply remove the leaves from the stems as this happens.
When planting protea in areas with heavy, clay soils, add amendments to allow the soil to drain more freely or build an elevated garden bed with specially prepared soil for the plants.
To maintain the life of cut-flower arrangements, place protea away from direct sun and heat sources. Add water daily.
Whether from the garden or a florist, proteas dry well for use in permanent floral arrangements. Simply hang stems of protea upside down in a dark, dry area for two to three weeks before use.