The Paper flower it is one of the most curious plants in the world. Normally, when we imagine a flower we do it thinking about its soft and delicate petals, but the bracts (false petals) of our protagonist are rather leatheryas if they were made of paper.
It reaches about 80 centimeters in height, so it can look great both in pots, decorating the patio or terrace, or the garden together with other specimens of different colors.
Characteristics of the Paper Flower
The Paper Flower, known by the scientific name Helichrysum bracteatum and by the common names Immortal, Immortal, Straw Flower or Paper Flower, it is a herbaceous plant native to Australia that it behaves as an annual if in winter the temperature drops below 5ºC, or as a biennial if it is in an area where the climate is mild all year round.
It reaches a height of between 30 and 80cm. Its leaves are alternate, linear and lanceolate in shape. The flowers, which bloom during the summer, are made up of many leathery textured bracts that can be yellow, white, red or pink..
How do you take care of yourself?
It is a plant that does not require any special maintenance, but all vegetables have their preferences, and those of this curious flower are the following:
In order to have optimal development and growth, as well as an interesting number of flowers it is important that it is in an outdoor area where it is in direct sunlightideally throughout the day.
Soil or substrate
It is indifferent, as long as it has very good drainage. In the case that the garden soil is very compact, it is highly recommended to make a 50cm x 50cm hole and mix the soil with perlite in equal parts, or it can even be filled with universal growing substrate mixed with 30% perlite .
On the other hand, if you are going to keep it in a pot, you must add a first layer of clay balls or volcanic clay so that the excess water can drain well, which will prevent the roots from rotting. As a substrate, the universal can be used without problems.
Irrigation has to be frequent in summer, and somewhat less during the rest of the year. As usual, It will be watered three times a week during the hottest season and every 3-4 days the rest of the year.
During spring and summer it is highly advisable to pay it with a fertilizer for flowering plants, or if you prefer something more natural, with guano in liquid form. In both cases, the instructions specified on the package must be followed to avoid the risk of overdose.
In spring or fall It can be clamped to encourage the sprouting of new stems that, before expected, will produce more flowers.
It is usually affected by the mildew fungus. If it has been attacked, light green spots will appear on the leaves, which will turn yellowish and then brown. On the underside, a white or gray fluff will be observed.
The treatment will consist of cut the affected parts with gardening scissors previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol and treat the plant with systemic fungicide. In addition, it will be necessary to avoid wetting the plant when we water it, improve the drainage of the substrate and, if we have a plate under it, we remove the excess water 30 minutes after watering.
The Paper Flower can be multiplied by seeds or by separating clumps, which are the shoots that emerge from the plant. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:
- The first thing to do is acquire the seeds in spring or fall.
- Then We will sow them leaving a distance of 2cm between them In a seedling tray, yogurt or milk containers, in pots or, in short, in the seedbed that we like the most, making sure that it has – or that it can be drilled – holes for drainage.
- After placing them on the surface, we will cover them with a very thin layer of growing medium universal.
- Finally, water with a sprayer and place the seedbed in an area where the sun shines directly.
They will germinate in 10-20 days at a temperature of 18ºC.
To separate the clumps it is important to have the root ball visible, so if it is in the garden or in a pot it must be extracted with care. Once you are out, You can proceed to separate the shoots by removing a little of the soil or substrate, and planting it in a container with universal growing substrate or in another part of the home.
It is sensitive to cold and frost.
What did you think of this plant?