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Flannel Flower

How to grow this iconic Aussie wildflower. Maria Hitchcock OAM shares her tips.




Everyone loves flannel flowers ( Actinotus helianthi ). How could you not fall in love with those drifts of velvety white stars which fill coastal headlands, bushland glades, mountain roadsides and along sandy tracks in springtime? They are not the easiest plants to germinate but these secret 20 gardenclinic.com tips will ensure your success. It's best to sow them in early February or early spring. Flannel flower seeds take 1-2 months to germinate, so you’ll need a little patience too.
 

Materials

  • Flannel flower seed (no more than two years old)

  • 1-cup tepid water in a jar with lid

  • Wettasoil Liquid Wetting Agent

  • Seed punnet

  • Plastic container

  • Seed raising mix

  • Perlite

  • Tweezers

  • Spoon

  • Deep native tubes

  • Native potting mix

  • Chops tick

 

How to

  1. Add a few drops of Wettasoil to the jar of water. Secure lid and shake well.
     

  2. Remove lid and add a small quantity of seed to the water. Replace lid and shake well. Continue to periodically shake over the next hour.


     

  3. Fill plastic container with water to depth of 2cm.
     

  4. Fill punnet with seed raising mix and place in plastic container. Water will rise and wet the mix.
     

  5. Spoon seeds from jar and evenly spread over the seed raising mix.



     

  6. Lightly cover with perlite. Position in a semi-shaded spot. Top up water in the plastic container as needed and mist top of the punnet every few days.



     

  7. When most seedlings develop woolly grey leaves, tip the punnet on its side.
     

  8. Fill tubes with native potting mix and water thoroughly. Use chopstick to make a deep hole in centre of each pot.
     

  9. Use tweezers to gently tease each plant away from the seed raising mix. Insert the roots into the hole in the pot. Firm around the seedling and water with a fine spray.
     

  10. Position pots in a semi- shaded spot and water regularly. Ensure the water drains away from the pot and doesn’t pool underneath. Placing pots on a thick bed of perlite in a foam box with holes in the base is ideal.



     

  11. Plants are ready when roots emerge from the base. Plant out in the garden if you have sandy soil, otherwise grow in terracotta pots or half wine barrels filled with a mix of equal parts of premium native potting mix and coarse sand.

About this article

Author: WORDS AND IMAGES: MARIA HITCHCOCK OAM