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Connecticut Garden Journal
Connecticut Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Each week, Charlie focuses on a topic relevant to both new and experienced gardeners, including pruning lilac bushes, growing blight-free tomatoes, groundcovers, sunflowers, bulbs, pests, and more.

Connecticut Garden Journal: Strawflowers & Statice

Strawflower
Tom Miller (Flickr / Creative Commons)
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Strawflower

Each year, I often rotate growing various cut flowers in our garden. This year I went back to growing two old favorites; strawflowers and statice. I hadn't grown these annual cut flowers for years and I'm glad I did this year.

They are beautiful and durable. What I like about strawflowers and statice is they're attractive in the garden now, cut as fresh flowers for a vase, or cut and dried for long lasting indoor bouquets.

Strawflowers stand 2 feet tall with double, daisy-like flowers that have stiff, papery petals. Depending on the variety the flowers can be white to a deep purple color. I like 'Sultan mix' for the best variety of colors.

Statice is more understated. The dandelion-like foliage produces 1 to 2 foot tall, thin stalks loaded with rose, white, pink, yellow, peach, or violet colored small flowers. Like strawflowers, statice flowers are papery. Statice is also called sea lavender and grows well in poor soils and in salt air by the ocean.

Both flowers are best grown in full sun on well-drained soil. They aren't fussy about soil fertility, but should be kept well-weeded.

Harvest strawflowers when 2 or 3 layers of petals have opened. Harvest statice when most the flowers have fully opened. Cut 12- to 15-inch long stalks of flowers, remove the leaves of strawflowers, and hang them upside down to dry in a warm, airy place out of direct sunlight. Once dried, they will last for months in a dried flower bouquet with other easy to dry flowers, such as lavender and panicle hydrangeas, reminding you of your summer garden all winter.

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.

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