Why your pincushions aren’t flowering

Originating in the Cape, these indigenous gems thrive in nutrient poor soil. New hybrids and cultivars are more adaptable, but sometimes fail to flower in the garden


Pincushions (leucospermums) have striking flowers that bloom in late winter, spring and early summer. They make fabulous cut flowers and can last for two to three weeks, if not longer.

Annalize van Rensburg from expert protea growers, Arnelia Farms explains why. “Sometimes when a pincushion is growing in ideal conditions with sufficient fertiliser, water and sunlight and no changes in its environment, it can fail to flower. Plants under stress often flower to ensure seed production for the survival of the species.”

Other factors which may cause a pincushion not to flower:

  • Low light levels result in only vegetative growth.
  • Pruning during summer months. Prune only in spring during or directly after flowering.
  • High nitrogen levels in the soil cause vigorous vegetative growth.
  • Mild growing conditions with slight overwatering.
  • Day length – the plant needs to experience long days and then shorter days with lower temperatures to act as a cue for flower initiation.

Read more about fynbos varieties and planting pointers HERE.

Read more about growing fynbos HERE.