Growing Tips: Strawflower

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Germinates in approximately 14 days at an optimum soil temperature of 65-70 degrees F. Seed needs light for germination, DO NOT Cover seed. Space seed ½ to ¾ inches apart on the soil surface. Ideal spacing in the garden is 9 to 15 inches. Plant height: 16 to 30 inches.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska these slow growing plants should be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost to assure satisfactory summer bloom. Fill a container that has drainage holes with a sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seed on soil surface, DO NOT cover, seed requires light to germinate, water well for good seed-soil contact, cover container with clear plastic and keep moist. Remove plastic immediately when the seedlings start to sprout. When seedlings show their first green leaves, water with a liquid solution of plant food. Soon after the seedlings have their first true leaves transplant to individual plastic pots, water with a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks and grow in sunny area that is cool at night, 50 to 55 degrees F., until the garden is ready. Select sunny garden location with a good, well-drained garden loam, enrich with plant food and transplant outdoors after the danger of frost is past.

Care:

Water as the soil starts to dry out, apply a complete plant food one month after the seedlings are transplanted in the garden.

Drying:

Cut flowers just before the center petals open. Strip off the foliage and hang in small bunches upside down to dry in a shady place.