Originally native to Australia and often referred to as "paper daisy", the strawflower has a rich history dating back centuries. Its name comes from the straw-like appearance of its flowers, which retain their colour and form even after drying, making them excellent for decorative purposes long after harvesting.
The Monstrosum Mix strawflower is usually cultivated as an annual in our Canadian climate, although it can be grown as a perennial in zones 9-11. Its ease of growth makes it suitable for both experienced and novice gardeners. The upright plants reach 2 to 3 feet in height, producing a profusion of vibrant flowers in shades of white, yellow, orange, pink, and red.
Ideal for warm and sunny climates, the Monstrosum Mix Strawflower is relatively drought-tolerant once established. Regular watering during prolonged heat ensures healthy growth and continuous blooming. The long-lasting flowers also attracts pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, enhancing biodiversity in the garden.
The blooms last for weeks, retaining their colour and form, making them perfect for fresh arrangements or dried displays like wreaths and bouquets.
- Latin Name: Xerochrysum bracteatum
- Life Cycle: Annual or perennial in zones 9-11
- Days to Maturity: 75-85
- Planting Depth: Need light to germinate, do not cover, mist lightly.
- Plant Spacing: 25-30 cm
- Growth Habit: 60-90 cm
Despite their bland-sounding common name, blooms of the strawflower never disappoint. The Australian native is a member of the aster family and, like a fireworks display will dazzle your flower beds with vibrant shades of all colors.
Seeds can be started indoors 6-8 weeks ahead of the last frost in your area. Sow seeds into seed starting flats or plant a few seeds into individual starter pots. Slightly press them into the seed starting medium to ensure good contact and mist well. Don’t cover the seeds, light exposure will help them sprout quickly.
Seedlings should begin to germinate in 7-10 days and can then be transferred to a bright windowsill or better yet, under fluorescent grow lights where they can receive up to 16 hours of light per day. Keeping the medium evenly moist, seedlings will grow aggressively anticipating their late spring transplant. When seedlings get to be 5-10 cm tall, thin them out, leaving one plant per 25-30 cm.
Leading up to the last frost date, seedlings can start to get a taste for the outdoor elements. Gradually harden them off for at least a week before transplanting when you’re sure no late frost will sneak in. Getting them established as soon as possible is important to make the most of their beautiful blossoms, but don’t rush the fragile seedlings into still-cold soil. Raised beds, cold frames or clear plastic coverings will help warm the soil early in the season.
Choose a site that recevies full sun for your strawflower transplants. This will result in sturdy stems and maximize potential blooms. The soil should be well-drained and tilled deeply to about 30 cm with some compost mixed in. Otherwise, strawflowers aren’t too particular about soil type or fertility.
Extremely drought tolerant once established, strawflowers will need 3 cm of water per week, but only if they don’t receive any rain. They hold up well to sun and heat, but prefer low humidity and temperatures around 21 degrees. Strawflowers will not tolerate frost.
Strawflowers are not heavy feeders but a monthly fertilizing regimen will ensure they bloom prolifically throughout the season. If kept in containers, consider a more frequent feeding schedule.
Flowers should be harvested or deadheaded continuously to get the best yields. Cut blooms when 2-3 layers of petals have unfolded but before the entire flower opens up.
Strawflowers’ bright colors and stiff, papery petals result in very attractive dried flowers. Their height and showstopping daisy-like blooms are perfect for borders and at the back of flower beds.
- One of the most remarkable features of strawflowers is their ability to retain their colour and shape for an extended period, even after they dry out. This quality makes them popular in dried flower arrangements and crafts, earning them the nickname "everlasting flowers."
- Strawflowers symbolize immortality, endurance, and longevity. Due to their long-lasting appearance, they are often associated with remembrance, making them suitable for memorial arrangements and expressing eternal love or memory.
- Strawflower seeds will remain viable for 2 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2024 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!