There are some 50 or more variations of Flannel flower. Some varieties are frost hardy and can tolerate extremes of temperatures, while others prefer more temperate conditions. The plants grown by Backcreek Country have been grown in the Canberra region, subject to extremes of both hot and cold.
Flannel flowers need a well-draining sandy-loam or potting mix. They also need protection from heavy winds and storms, which can damage their shallow root system. They will grow in both full sun and in shaded areas, however best location for planting in frost-prone zones is in a sheltered corner of the garden under large trees or next to a building or on a verandah. If you wish to treat the plant as an annual, it can be planted in the Spring in full sun and simply replaced the following year.
When transplanting try not to damage or disturb root ball or root system. Flannel flowers do very well as container plants, particularly as such can be moved if protection is needed for heavy frosts or storms.
Flannel flowers do not like wet feet and routinely they are “over-loved” as garden plants and promptly die. In warm and hot weather they do need regular watering to prevent dehydration, however if planted in the garden, protected from winds and mulched, you can water once a week and they will do well. If the plant is stressed for water the leaves will hug the stem, curling inwards slightly, and then they will wilt. Provide water immediately and they will recover.
Flannels do well with slow release fertiliser and they are not phosphorus sensitive. They enjoy regular feeds of liquid fertiliser, such as fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, or hydroponic plant food and will produce more blooms when well fed.
The Flannel flower plant has flowers in Spring and Summer, spurred on by warmer weather. After an initial flush of flowers, they will generally put on a second show and even a third show, in summer. The flowers have a long vase life of 2 – 3 weeks. Cutting flowers is in effect pruning and will result in a bushier plant with more flowers in the following season.
A Flannel flower plant will last 3 – 4 years when cared for. It will self-seed easily, so watch for baby seedlings coming up around it in the garden or in the same pot. Do not hesitate to cut the mature plant back after flowering – it will regenerate and put on a new show the following year.