Spotlight on fynbos | Stodels Nursery

Spotlight on fynbos

20th February 2019

There are over 9 000 species of fynbos, leaving gardeners spoilt for choice. These shrub-like plants are hardy and drought-tolerant and, although endemic to the Cape, can be grown in other parts of the country too. In winter-rainfall areas, it’s best to establish fynbos plants during the cooler, wetter autumn and early winter months to prepare them for the dry summer. In summer-rainfall areas, it’s best to plant them in early spring when periods of frost have passed, but the weather is still cool. Here are a few tips to help you grow these indigenous beauties and make them the focus of your garden this season:

  • Fynbos enjoy full sun and won’t grow well in damp or humid areas.
  • While fynbos plants are fairly drought-tolerant, they need to be well-established before they can tolerate long, dry periods.
  • Take care to keep the soil of just-planted fynbos plants moist, but not waterlogged, by watering 2-3 times a week. Once the plants are established, watering can be reduced to once a week.
  • The good news for busy gardeners is that fynbos has adapted its root systems to thrive in relatively nutrient-poor soil.
  • Ensure the soil has good drainage.
  • Chemical fertilisers containing phosphorus will damage your fynbos plants, so feed it with a slow release, organic fertiliser.
  • Potassium and phosphorus hinders the growth of fynbos plants, so avoid feeding them with mushroom compost, bonemeal or any kind of manure.
Expert tips
  • If your garden has slightly acidic soil (a pH of 5 to 6 is ideal) that drains well, you can plant most varieties in your fynbos garden.
  • Mulch around the plants with straw, bark or leaves to keep the soil cool and to discourage weeds from taking over.
  • Once your fynbos garden is well-established, prune every year after it has completed flowering.
  • If you’re planting a fynbos plant from a pot into the ground, avoid disturbing its roots as their root systems are sensitive.