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Plant propagation
It is preferable to propagate plants by seeds rather than cuttings or by division. This ensures maximum genetic diversity is maintained.

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Clianthus maximus
Height: 3m;  Spread: 3m
Red kaka beak (Shrub)
Attractive red flowers with glossy green leaves. Rare. Prefers a free draining site.
» Click here for our Clianthus article published in the Titirangi Tatler...
» For a landcaping perspective on Clianthus maximus see this article by O2 Landscapes ...
Photo gallery:
Closeup photo of the red kaka beak flower - Clianthus maximus
Oratia Native Plant Nursery is a place a child can happily and constructively get lost in. Here three year old Theo de Lange gets right into plant conservation issues lecturing his dad (the photograph) about ngutu kaka (Clianthus maximus) - a species sadly down to c.153 wild plants in the wild and now one of New Zealand's most threatened species
Clianthus maximus as published in the Titirangi Tatler
Taken October 2010 on shore of Lake Waikaremoana
Not sure which kaka beak this is but it is stunning, grown from seed and two years old living happily in my garden in central otago, i havent frost protected & it is surrounded by other natives, it really is a beautiful plant and everyone admires it :)
Clianthus maximus foliage showing the larger bright green shiny leaves
Growing tips:
On 06/10/2009, dayne laird said:
Everything seems to want to eat these plants - an ongoing battle in Onehunga at least. 2-spotted mite, broom-mite, slugs&snails, leaf-miner, and thrips are the pests I'm constantly battling. My current strategy is: Leaf-miner - hit the plant with Target to kill the larvae between the leaf layers and hitch up yellow sticky traps around the plant to deplete the adults flying around. Target appears to be OK to use more than once for leaf-miner control. Starts in spring, and goes all the way to autumn. 2-spotted mites, or broom mite - hit the plant with Target (again), but that's probably the only time you'll get them weak enough to really affect the numbers. After that Neem Oil works well in immobilising at least the 2-spotted mites whereby you can take pleasure in knowing they are starving to death trapped in a waxy cell. They seem to appear early summer, and back-off once into early autumn. Broom mite is too small to see with naked eye, so can really only give Target a crack to hopefully kill off any outlying populations from the obvious infestations, and prune off the infected branchlettes from then on. This bug seems to come and go through the years - not sure why. Snails and Slugs - they do the most damage and mostly in winter and early spring it seems. I wait until it's been dark for a couple of hours, take my torch, pick them off and dispatch them accordingly. Thrips - by the time I've dealt with the mites & leaf-miners the thrips aren't in large numbers to worry about. If I can actually keep up with all this, then the kaka beaks survive pretty well and look fantastic. I've tried Confidor as an alternate to Target - seemed to work about the same. I prefer Target - it's the kind of smell I just can't get enough of.... Best tip of all is to check your work - invest in a small microscope and check what you're doing is actually killing the beasties you're after. I was horrified the first time I sprayed for the mites with everything I had only to see them still wriggling around quite happily the next day.
On 06/12/2009, Geoff Davidson said:
Phew Dayne, Im exhausted and got a lowered immunity just from reading about it. Dont despair, it is possible to grow Kaka Beak without the sprays. An annual pruning is good to remove diseased or dead bits, plus take off one third of the branches to force sturdy new growth on the old wood. Mine is growing at the top of a retaining wall with VERY free drainage. It flowered from April to November. I checked it today (6/12/09) and decided to wait a few weeks before collecting the seed.