• Julia Watson

Strawflowers


strawflowers
Strawflower from our parking strip bed

Dried flowers are not my thing. I tried a few times, then decided to pass on the whole endeavor because frankly, it’s too much work for too little reward. BUT – I still grow strawflowers because they’re so valuable as fresh cut flowers, despite having some flaws that you should be aware of.


Strawflowers are a workhorse of my cutting garden – they keep on churning out flowers all summer and fall, with very little effort on my part. Sometimes they add just the right accent in a bouquet. But they aren’t as hardy as you might think. I call them sulky flowers - they wilt if you don’t treat them right, so I prioritize them during harvest. They’re the blooms that I trim and put into hydration solution first, otherwise they start to droop. Even with Quick Dip and Floralife 300 hydration solution, I don’t get complete cooperation – sometimes there are a few blooms that have to be discarded.


Flower bouquet with strawflower and roses
Strawflower 'Vintage White' in a bouquet of summer flowers

Strawflowers are attractive in all stages of flowering, from bud to fully open. The fully open flowers have a soft, fuzzy ring in the center that’s a wonderful contrast to the stiff, prickly petals. I like to cut these and give them to visiting children.


The best varieties, in my opinion, are Apricot/Peach, Silvery Rose and Vintage White. I’ve also grown several red varieties but didn’t like the color range. Copper is beautiful for fall arrangements. In my climate and soil, Apricot/Peach flowers first, most and longest, but you’ll find what works best in your garden.


fall bouquet of flowers
Several shades of strawflower combined with fall mums - beautiful!


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