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.
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.