Garden Strawflower, Helichrysum bracteatum - Care Tips

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Straw flower - Helichrysum bracteatum

Elated she spreads good mood in the bed and on the balcony. The garden straw flower adorns the cottage garden with its smart appearance and inspires the imagination for the design of beautiful dry bouquets. After a tireless flowering from May to October, she likes to come back next year after a frost-free winter in the tub. Given this many talents, the little jack-of-all-trades has already made it to the throne of the 'Balcony Plant of the Year'. What matters in the successful cultivation of a Helichrysum bracteatum, reveal these care tips.

Location and substrate

The garden straw flower spreads everywhere its happy-colorful flower flair, where it covers the full sunlight most of the day. She drifts her rustling flower heads in air-rippled layers to the sky, where she can dry off quickly after a summer rain. Varieties that want to grow high with a height of 100 centimeters, are happy about the backing of a garden fence or a sunny wall. Small-growth breeds unfold their flower splendor not only in the classic farmer's garden, but harmonize well in the stone and gravel gardens, as long as the soil here is not too lean.
  • Full sunny position
  • Humous, nutrient-rich soil
  • Well-drained soil with a light moisture content
Immediately planted in the bed, the life of a Helichrysum bracteatum is limited to a summer. Since she is endowed by Mother Nature with the potential for perennial culture, prudent hobby gardeners plant the summer flower preferably in the bucket and balcony box. Here it thrives in commercial potting soil, which is ideally optimized with a little sand or perlite.

Pouring and fertilizing

Another important pillar of the successful care of a garden straw flower is the proper supply of water and nutrients. While their thirst is limited, their need for food is comparatively high. How to handle it correctly:
  • Strawflowers prefer a mild moisture
  • Pour moderately when the substrate surface has dried
  • Water directly on the root area
  • Keep it out of the hose before it is hit with ice-cold water
  • From May to October, fertilize weekly with 2 ml of liquid fertilizer per liter of irrigation water
  • In the bed regularly compost compost and horn chips incorporated into the soil
To meet the nutrient needs, without having to worry about it on a weekly basis, long-term fertilizers serve as a sensible alternative. These depot preparations are available in the form of chopsticks, granules or small cones. These fertilizers provide a garden straw flower for 6-8 weeks with all the important minerals and trace elements, so a three-time gift per season is sufficient.
Tip: Repeated plastering of withered flowers and leaves promotes the growth of new, lush inflorescences.

To cut

Straw flower - Helichrysum bracteatum

If you have the straw flowers a function as a dried flower in a colorful bouquet or arrangement, the stems are cut when the flower heads are just open. These unfold completely in the course of drying. On the other hand, if your Helichrysum bracteatum have the task of beautifying the garden for as long as possible, they will only be cut close to the ground in their completely withered state, or if the first frost will put an end to the blossom dream.


Cultured in the planter, the chances are good that the garden straw flower overwinters to repeat the flowers in the next year. The following aspects are of relevance:
  • Give the bucket or balcony box in time for the first forest
  • The winter quarter is bright and cool at temperatures of 5-10 degrees Celsius
  • Ideal is an unheated staircase, a bedroom or the frost-free, bright garage
  • Do not allow the substrate to dry out during hibernation
  • It is not fertilized at this stage
Leave the withered inflorescences on the plant throughout the winter. Just before the new budding spring, cut off the stems close to the ground.


The sowing is considered as uncomplicated method of the propagation of garden-strawflowers. You have the choice between breeding in the house in March or direct sowing in May. Preferred specimens from the glass stand out with a considerable growth advantage, which equips Helichrysum bracteatum with a robust resistance to diseases and pests. Both approaches are explained in more detail below:

Sowing behind glass

In March, the local lighting conditions have brightened so much that the sowing of the seeds can be tackled. In the weeks and months before it is even on the south window of the house still so dark that seedlings vergeilen within a short time, because they stretched desperately for every ray of light. So the sowing succeeds:
  • Fill a seedbed with peat sand, coconut fiber, perlite or commercially available sap
  • Mix the fine seeds with sand and sprinkle
  • Spread with substrate or vermiculite about 1 centimeter thick
  • Moisten with a fine spray from the spray bottle
Situated at the bright, warm window seat, the germination sets in at 15-18 degrees Celsius within 14-21 days. On a cover in the form of glass or foil again omitted here, because a moist and warm microclimate is unfavorable here. As soon as there is a severe draft in the seed hopper, the weakest seedlings are sorted out. If all seedlings have developed splendidly, the separation into individual pots should pay off. Used in slightly fertilized Pikiererde, you maintain your pupils in it until they move after the Eisheiligen in the bed.

direct sowing

Where sowing in the house does not seem practicable, the immediate seed in the bed becomes the focus. The days and weeks after the Eisheiligen in the middle of May are a good choice of date. This is how the workflow works:
  • At the chosen location, loosen the beetroot 20 cm deep
  • Free the soil from roots, stones and weeds until it is fine crumbly
  • Distribute a 5 cm high layer of sieved compost and work it in with the rake
  • Spread out the straw flower seeds, rake in and spray gently
To protect the seeds, spread out a tight mesh. Before, during and after germination, prudent hobby gardeners keep sprouting weeds under control so they do not overgrow the delicate seedlings. If the plantlets have developed to a height of 5 centimeters, the weaker straw flowers are sorted out. A planting distance of 20 centimeters is considered ideal.


Straw flower - Helichrysum bracteatum

As a dried flower, the garden strawflower retains its summery appearance over many years. The cheapest and most uncomplicated method is air drying. To do this, cut the flowers that are not fully open in the afternoon when the morning dew has cleared. Loosely tied with raffia, hang the flowers in small bouquets upside down in a warm, dry place. The darker it is here, the less the colors stay out. In the course of the drying process, slightly tighten the tape as the stems lose moisture. The shelf life is optimized if you spray the dried flowers with hair lacquer at the end of the process. An elegant variant of the drying of strawflowers works by using one part of glycerine and two parts of water. Place the Helichrysum bracteatum in a vase for 2-4 weeks in this mixture, which is distributed in the stems, flowers and leaves. The result is slightly shimmering and pliable dried flowers.
Nobody can escape their cheerful charm. The garden straw flower inspires with multi-faceted talents, such as a sheer endless flowering, an undemanding care and foolproof reproduction. Not to forget the ornamental value as a dried flower in beautiful farm bouquets and arrangements. For the colorful universal talent, there is a place in every garden, as long as it is only sunny enough there. The joy of the colorful flower heads does not have to be limited to a year, because in the bucket a frost-free wintering is quite possible.

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