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Common Sugarbush

Protea repens

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Common Sugarbush (Protea repens) at Roger's Gardens

Common Sugarbush flowers

Common Sugarbush flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Common Sugarbush (Protea repens) at Roger's Gardens

Common Sugarbush in bloom

Common Sugarbush in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  9a


These shrubs are known for their large, long blooming, thistle shaped flowers; beautiful red tones on petals with creamy centers; plant in full sun with plenty of drainage; younger plants not as tolerant of cold

Ornamental Features

Common Sugarbush features bold red cup-shaped flowers with pink overtones and creamy white eyes at the ends of the branches from late fall to late winter. It has attractive olive green foliage which emerges green in spring. The narrow leaves are highly ornamental and remain olive green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Common Sugarbush is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Common Sugarbush is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Common Sugarbush will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features