Strawflower (Helichrysum bracteatum) - 200 Seeds
•American grown seeds
•Easy to grow
•USDA Zone: 1-12
The name strawflower doesn’t do much to excite the flower gardener—it might elicit images of a plant that's withered and tan—but the real strawflower blossom will bring vivid colors to your landscape and craft projects alike. Strawflowers resemble daisies in form, but unlike daisies, the petals are stiff and papery. In fact, they aren’t true petals at all, but modified leaves called bracts. This Australian native is a part of the Asteraceae family, a group that includes many daisy-type flowers. The dried flowers retain lovely shades of yellow, red, orange, pink and white making it one of the most versatile flowers for dried arrangements and bouquets.
Direct sow seeds in early spring, pressing them into the surface of the soil since they need light to germinate. Keep the soil moist until germination which usually occurs within 2 weeks. To start indoors, plant several seeds each in peat pots, keep the soil lightly moist and at room temperature until germination. Transplant the seedlings outdoors after the threat of frost. Once established, they tolerate dry and hot conditions well and will only need watering in extended periods of dry weather. Do not overwater. Pinching off the tips of developing plants will encourage branching and produce fuller, bushier plants.
For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately. Strip the leaves that will fall below the water surface. For long lasting dried flowers, cut blossoms just before they fully open, bundle the stems and hang them upside down to dry.