So you’d like to know how to care for a cactus strawflower! Perhaps, you plan to add these flowers to your garden. Maybe, your existing cactus plant shows no signs of growth. No matter the reason, taking proper care can be quite a job mainly because a strawflower cactus plant has a strawflower attached to it with a pin or glue. The texture and looks of the flower are the highlights, which makes it a favored choice of most gardeners today. However, looking after the plant isn’t as easy. Many gardeners face issues regarding the growth of this lovely plant.
Tips To Take Care Of The Cactus Strawflower
When it boils down to strawflowers, some gardeners don’t bother much. That’s the case with amateur gardeners who’ve less knowledge. They think that all plants need equal attention. While it’s true, certain flowers such as strawflowers need more attention. Strawflowers could behave as short-lived perennials in 8 to 11 zones, returning reliably for about 2 to 3 years. However, in some regions, gardeners start strawflowers from seed every year. No matter the situation, you should pay heed to the upkeep of the plants. If you fail to do so, the plant will either die or won’t flourish. Here’s how to take care of the cactus strawflower.
Lighting Conditions For Starflower
Strawflowers grow and flourish in sunlight. However, they could tolerate part shades. Many homeowners grow strawflowers in a pot in their balcony. If you’re one such person, see to it that the plants receive immense sunlight. If the plants get less than the desired light, they won’t bloom much.
Consequently, you won’t be able to enjoy the full flowering of these gorgeous plants. If the light is too weak, the stems of the flowers may become too brittle, which could jeopardize the survival of plants. As a smart gardener, you may want to avert any such situation. So, put strawflowers at a place where they can receive maximum sunlight.
The Best Soil For Starflower Cactus
Strawflowers thrive on heavy and rich soils, but rocky and sandy soils are the best ones. However, any soil is okay as far as the drainage system is sound and solid. In the absence of draining, the plants may die. So, have a proper draining system. Moisture is another aspect to consider. Like other flowers, the cactus strawflower also needs enough moisture. Add mulch to even soil temperatures and retain soil moisture.
If you prefer a balcony garden, then temperature and moisture should not be a major issue. However, planting in the garden can be difficult. For garden planting, dig the soil as deep as 10 to 12 inches. Also, add about 3 inches of compost. That should avert possible issues.
Water and light are the lifeblood of any plant. Strawflowers are no exception to this point. Just like light, plants need regular watering. The good thing is strawflowers need less water. Plus, they can survive and shine brightly even after a week of the summer season. However, leaving them withered in the garden for a long time can pose issues.
A weekly drink of water will keep your flowers fresh and pert. Pour about 1 inch of water each week during the flourishing season, especially if the soil isn’t moist after the rain. However, be sure that the roots of the plants don’t get too soggy. If there’s too much water, the flowers won’t blossom as desired.
How To Use Fertilizer For Starflower Cactus
Strawflowers don’t need too much fertilizer. An application of balanced flower fertilizer is enough to keep the plants blooming. Remember, the quantity of fertilizers for the cactus strawflower depends on the planting location. For instance, if you grow them in containers, you’ve to add more fertilizers. On the other hand, strawflowers planted in the garden require less fertilizer.
Note this point when feeding fertilizers. Since strawflowers come in a wide variety, it’s best to ask the vendor about the quantity, type, and frequency of applying fertilizers. That should avoid under-application or over-application and lengthen the lifespan of plants.
Temperature And Humidity
As with any other plant, temperature plays an important role in determining the growth of these beautiful flowers. If the plants get the desired temperature, they’ll flourish and last long. On the flip side, your plants will wither and die if you fail to provide the right temperature. Strawflowers grow well at 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime.
At night, you ought to maintain a 60 degree Fahrenheit temperature. In addition to this, keep your plants from frosting. Try to maintain warm weather and low humidity levels. If you manage humidity and temperature levels, you’ll enjoy the beauty of the cactus strawflower for a long time in your garden or balcony.
Protection Against Viruses
Most flowers are vulnerable to pests and diseases. Keeping pests and diseases in check can be a challenge. Here, you should be happy to know that strawflowers are disease and pest-free. Yet, they’re exposed to the aster yellow virus. It can affect the survival and growth of the flowers.
The virus is even more problematic in regions with leafhopper infestations. In such areas, insects act as vectors. Affected plants may exhibit yellow leaves along with stunted growth. However, you may check the problem and keep your plants healthy. Just remove the affected plants. Plus, treat with permethrin or carbaryl for leafhopper infestations.
The looks of a cactus strawflower can drive anyone’s attention. It’s the appearance and texture that make this flower alluring. For these reasons, people grow them. However, many gardeners are careless when pruning the plants. This is more so in the case of inexperienced gardeners. A little bit of haste can easily manifest into waste.
Your whole labor and efforts will go in vain. However, strawflowers don’t need regular pruning. Despite this fact, you should be careful when trimming. Deadheading the plant could keep the flowers blossoming.
Cactus plants are known for withstanding drought and heat. For this reason, many gardeners don’t pay much attention to strawflowers. They think that the plant and the flowers will grow and thrive due to their strong immunity. While it’s true to some extent, strawflowers need special attention at times.
For instance, too much heat can affect plant growth. Similarly, under-watering can hinder the blossoming of flowers. So, do regular inspections. It’s best to check the flowers once in two days. Pay close attention to the stem, soil moisture, and flower appearance. If all is well, relax. In case you see anything unusual, fix the problem. At times, the plants may appear too dry. In such a case, add water. If the stems get weak, look for a possible virus attack.
Protection From Windy Weather
The cactus plant is strong enough to stand to winds and other harsh weather conditions. However, the cactus strawflower may blow out in winds. If you expect the weather to be windy, you should move the pot (if you plant in your balcony) to a safe place.
What if you plant cactus in the garden? Wind may damage the flowers substantially. Is there a way to sort out this issue? Yes, place the plant in the middle of the garden. Also, make certain that other plants in the surrounding grow higher. These plants will act as a cover during the windy weather.
How To Repot Cactus Starflower
When it comes to growing cactus strawflower plants, you’ve two options. You may either make your own pot or buy the plant with a pot. Both options work. If you’re into DIY chores, you may opt for a DIY potting for customization. In case you’re not handy with such chores, a pre-potted plant will make an ideal choice.
No matter what you prefer, repot the plants once a year. That should promote healthy roots. Plus, it’ll ensure that your plants grow by leaps and bounds. However, see to it that you repot the plants in a bigger pot. Bigger pots offer more breathability and let the flowers flourish with minimum hassles.
Many people are desperate to pluck strawflowers once they flourish. However, picking the flowers the wrong way will affect the growth of the plant. On the other hand, proper harvesting will pave the path for further growth. So, what’s the best harvesting/picking time? Harvest them when they’re partially opened because they continue to open after plucking.
Pull them gently. Pick the flowers during the evening time when they’re free of dew. Also, exercise caution when plucking the flowers. You may unintentionally damage the surrounding flowers due to abrupt plucking. Strawflower stems are usually hollow and get brittle after drying. It’s advised to take out the stems at harvest. Plus, use wires in place to avoid problems.
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Growing the cactus strawflower isn’t a problem. However, taking proper care isn’t as easy as it appears. A ton of legwork goes into keeping the plant in its best condition. Without proper knowledge and info, you may lose your plants and flowers. To keep potential problems at bay, check the above guide. By adhering to the above tips, you can give proper care and attention to these gorgeous flowers and enjoy their beauty in your garden/balcony.