UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Leonotis leonurus

lee-oh-NO-tus lee-oh-NURE-us
Common Name
Lion’s Tail
Plant Type
Mature Size
4 ft. to 6 ft. wide and tall
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full sun
  • Bees
  • Butterflies
  • Other birds
Flower Color
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

This upright shrub from South Africa has bright eye-catching orange flowers. A single lion’s tail works well as a late summer/early fall garden focal point. The flowers can also be stunning in a flower arrangement. 

Prune these shrubs in the early spring after the danger of frost is past to control size. Some gardeners prune them down to six inches from the ground; others just cut off half of the total height. How much to prune is a matter of deciding the desirable size of the plants in the garden. With no pruning at all, these plants can get very large, very quickly.

Lion’s tail can be frost tender, but they rebound quickly. If this plant does get frost damaged, wait until after the danger of frost is past, then cut off the damaged parts.

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