The Q&A Archives: Small Strawflowers

Question: The last several years my strawflowers have grown into nice healthy plants but the flower heads have been quite small. I start my plants in the green house and give some to my mother who gets good sized flowers from hers. I use several different varieties including ones specifically for large flowers. I can only assume there is something missing in the soil. Can you give me any advice on how to improve the size of the flowers?

Answer: In some cases an excess of nitrogen will result in extra foliage growth at the expense of the blooms. In other cases, the soil may be lacking in some way as you have guessed, but the only way to know for sure is to run some basic soil tests. Your County Extension (664-9502) can help with the tests and with interpreting the results. These plants will also do best in full sun all day long. Finally, water is very important in flower production. Your plants should be receiving about an inch a week from the hose or the sky, and a deep watering is more effective than light daily sprinkings. Finally, a mulch is also useful for both weed control and moisture retention.

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