Has anyone here ever planted straw flower? I am in zone 7. Do they come back every year? Did you like them and did they spread. I can not find much info. on them.
I plant strawflowers(bracteantha bracteata) but I find the stems aren't really long enough for bouquets. Out here they are an annual and grow about 30-36 inches tall. Very easy to grow. I use mine mostly for dried flower work or the small ones are used in my potpourri mixes. I plant 12" apart, but they don't spread, they just get a little bushy much like a zinnia plant. HEIDI
I grew Helichrysum (same thing as bracteantha) Double Pastel mix last year and they were great. Very floriferous and easy to grow. Some things to be aware of though, always pick them as the petals are just beginning to unfurl and the center is just visible, if you wait till they are fully open, they splay their petals backwards and look HORRIBLE. Good luck.
Johnny's Selected Seeds has a particularly beautiful strawflower called peaches and apricots mix (or something like that). They are wonderful annuals and do not come back for me.The colors are salmon pink to apricot and just glow.
Strawflower is an upright, warm-weather annual or short lived perennial with daisy-like flowerheads in yellow, pink, bronze, cream, purple or white. Strawflower has thin, lance shaped, grayish green leaves up to 5 in (12.7 cm) long, and sandpapery, hollow, branching stems that may reach 3-4 ft (0.9-1.2 m) in height. From late spring until fall, strawflower bears flowerheads about 2 in (5.1 cm) across singly or in few-flowered clusters on the ends of the branches. What look like ray flowers or petals are actually bracts (modified leaves) surrounding the central corolla. The bracts are papery with a straw-like, crackly texture, hence the common name. The corolla is like the disc of more typical daisies, composed of many tiny florets. There are no ray florets at all.
Seed is ready to collect when the bracts have reflexed slightly and the centre of the flower becomes downy, like a dandelion. It should come away from the flowerhead with no effort. When storing, be sure the seed is dry and free from insects. Store in paper bags or envelopes in a dry area.
Strawflowers are A PHENOMENON because they are the ONLY thing the deer don't eat. I have had as many as 15 deer at once, in my backyard, on my patio. Last year I planted big pots with hundreds of dollars of beautiful flowers....the Strawflowers were the only thing they didn't devour. This year, all Strawflowers, and so far...they are still uneaten. HOORAY for Strawflowers. Beautiful not tasty. :)