Though the addition of perennial flowers to the garden is a reliable way to add seasonal color, many of these flowers can also be grown as an annual by those living outside of their USDA growing zones. Craspedia flowers are one such example of this. These unique, globe shaped blooms are sure to be a stunning addition to flower beds as well as specialty cut flower gardens.
What is a Craspedia Plant?
Also known as Billy button flowers or drumsticks, yellow Craspedia globosa are native to regions of Australia and New Zealand. Though the plant has shown to grow as a perennial in USDA zones 8 through 11, craspedia plants started early from seed will often begin blooming in just one season. Large, globe shaped flowers are held high, on wiry stems, above mounds of grass-like foliage. Silvery leaves contribute to the plant’s overall visual appeal in the landscape, while the long vase life of Billy button flowers make them good for cutting and for use in dried floral crafts. The most popular varieties of craspedia are ‘Golf Beauty’ and ‘Sun Ball.’
How to Grow Craspedia Flower
Craspedia globosa is most commonly grown from seed. While those with long growing seasons may find some success in direct sowing after all chances of frost have passed, most sources suggest starting seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Seeds may take several weeks to germinate, even under optimal conditions, around 70 degrees F. (21 C.).
Once seedlings have been properly hardened off in the spring, the craspedia plants can be transplanted into flower beds. Craspedia globosa is adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions, including those which contain clay. Still, Billy button flowers will require a planting site that drains well and receives full sun. Since new seedlings can be quite small, weeding around craspedia plants will be essential as plants become more established.
Care for craspedia plants is minimal. Since Billy buttons are tolerant of heat, drought, and poor soil fertility, they seldom need supplemental fertilizer or irrigation. In fact, overwatering can quickly become a cause of concern for growers. Billy button flowers are rarely affected by fungal diseases or insect pressure.