Strawflowers enhance any garden and balcony with their colorful flowers. Dried, they are also an eye-catcher in the apartment. Here you can find out what you should consider with strawflowers.
Strawflowers: types and origin
There are many different strawflower species – in Europe, the garden strawflower is the best known. However, spice herbs such as curry or licorice herb also belong to the strawflower family. The garden strawflower is available in many different colors, including white, yellow, purple, lavender or pink.
Originally, the strawflower comes from Australia. In the meantime, however, it has a firm place in European garden culture. Here it blooms as a typical summer flower from July to September. But even after that you can use them in dried state for interior decoration.
Since garden strawflowers are accustomed to warm temperatures, they tolerate only light frost and are usually offered as annual plants. However, with proper care and a little luck, the flowers will survive the winter and bloom one to two more times.
Planting strawflowers: Tips and tricks
The following tips should be followed for the cultivation of strawflowers:
- You can either buy strawflowers already grown or plant your own flowers with the help of seeds. If you use seeds, you can grow them indoors as early as March. The seeds sprout best at a relatively constant temperature of 18°C. After about three weeks you can plant the seeds.
- After about three weeks you can plant the seedlings in individual pots. After the Ice Saints in May, the seedlings can usually survive outdoors.
- From mid-May, you can also sow garden strawflowers directly in the bed. They may then become a little less vigorous.
- Strawflowers need a warm and sunny location. Also note that they grow up to 60 centimeters tall. If you plant them in a bed with other flowers, they should always be in the first row. There should be a distance of about 20 to 30 centimeters between the plants.
- You can also plant garden strawflowers in pots or tubs on the balcony. Even then, the more sun, the better. Even the blazing midday heat will not harm them.
How to care for the colorful flowers
Strawflowers are relatively easy to care for and are not very demanding of their environment. You should pay attention to the following tips in the care:
- The soil should be permeable and rich in humus. As far as the nutrient content is concerned, strawflowers are rather undemanding. Therefore, you only need to fertilize with a little compost from time to time. Strawflowers will usually grow without any added fertilizer.
- Make sure to remove withered flower parts regularly with garden shears.
- Garden strawflowers tolerate dry soil better than completely soggy soil. Therefore, water them more often, but only in small amounts – the soil should not be completely dry, but also not too waterlogged.
- Garden strawflowers tolerate cold rather poorly and usually do not survive the winter outdoors. However, if you grow them in a container and keep them in a bright and slightly cool room, they can survive the cold months and bloom outdoors again after the Ice Saints. Over the winter you should not fertilize the plants and even then only water them in moderation.
Drying straw flowers: how to do it
Straw flowers are very suitable for drying because of their color and texture, and in this state they keep relatively long.
- For drying, it is important that you cut off the flowers not too early, but also not too late. It is best to do it at the so-called “half bloom” – that is, shortly after the first flowers have opened.
- Cut the flowers so that the stems are as long as possible. Remove any leaves that may be interfering.
- Hang the flowers upside down in an airy and shady place and let them dry completely. You can dry them either individually or tied as a bouquet.
- Get more tips on drying flowers here: Drying flowers: simple methods for the bouquet or flowers.