Common name: Straw / Everlasting flower
Helichrysum bracteatum is a native of Australia, is a hardy annual that is often grown as a border/cut flower, and later dried, to produce probably the best known of the everlasting flowers.
The plants are quite easy to grow and make excellent container plants.
The 60-70mm (2½") diameter flowers are papery in texture and come in shades of yellow, orange, red and white.
Dependant on variety they can grow to 300-900mm (12"-36") high.
The taller varieties will require some form of support during the growing season.
They perform well in most types of soil providing they are in a sunny spot.
If grown in pots use a Ji2 potting compost or its equivalent.
Allow plants to dry out between waterings, and feed monthly with a half strength balanced fertilizer during the growing season
If cut just before they are fully opened and hung up to dry in a cool garage or potting shed, they will be useful for indoor flower arrangements in the winter months.
Sow seed in trays or pots of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 16°-18°C (6o°- 65°F)
They should take about a week to germinate.
Prick out into 70mm (3") pots of potting compost and place them in a frost free coldframe to harden off.
Plant out 300mm (12") apart in a sunny spot.
Deadhead regularly, to encourage repeat flowering, and reduce the potential of self seeding!
Save some cut flowers for drying (see note above)