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August 2010
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Strawflower: “Summer Solstice”: Helichrysum Bracteatum

Straw flower is an herbaceous annual tropical and tender perennial herb which is easy to grow. These herbs are the natives of Australia and they grow up to a height of 6-12 inches i.e., 15-30 cm or three feet. These flowers are “everlasting” and can be dried and last a long time. The flowers have big blooms and come in Pink, Red, Orange, bright Yellow, Purple, Maroon (Purple-Brown), White or near White colors. They begin to bloom in midsummer and they bursts of color right up to frost. They bloom repeatedly. Strawflowers are double, straw-textured dried flowers. The other colors are gold, salmon. These plants are having flower heads with showy, variously colored bracts that retain their color when dried. They look good in the flower bed, in vases, corsages, bouquets, and make excellent winter bouquets and are popular with crafters. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.

Growing Conditions of Strawflower: “Summer Solstice”

• Strawflowers are grown from seed.
• Direct sow after last frost.
• Strawflower seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden.
• Plant indoors for transplanting later.
• If planting outdoors, sow them just a few days before the last frost date for your area.
• Do not cover seed as they need light to germinate.
• Sow Strawflower seeds, covering them lightly with soil.
• Space seeds or seedlings 9-12 in. (22-30 cm) apart to give these big plants ample room to grow.
• They prefer full sun to partial shade.
• They will do well in poor to average soils.
• The soil pH requirements 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral).
• They tolerate heat and drought conditions.
• Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.
• Add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a season for maximum plant growth, and to promote big blooms.
• Once the Strawflowers are established, they will grow well.
• They will bloom from mid-summer right up to frost.

Care for Strawflower: “Summer Solstice”

• They may survive light frosts.
• They prefer full sun to partial shade.
• They will do well in poor to average soils.
• Has average Water Needs
• Water regularly
• Do not overwater.
• Self-sows freely
• Deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season.
• This plant is resistant to deer.
• Flowers are good for drying and preserving.
• It is suitable for growing in containers.
• Strawflower is fairly resistant to insects and disease.
• If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.
• Cut Strawflowers just before full bloom.
• Hang upside down to dry in a dry, well ventilated area.

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