ENJOY FLANNEL FLOWERS AT HOME
Flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) are small perennial plants native to eastern Australia. They have distinctive flannel-like white daisy flowers, and their fluffy surfaces look like they could be used to dry your hands. Even the leaves are attractive, and appear to have been intricately cut from sheets of fine grey felt. Sadly, flannel flowers have a reputation for being tricky to grow, but plants can be found in pots at garden centres at this time of year, including ‘Starbright’, a variety that has been raised by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. While they can be short-lived in the ground, flannel flowers will normally do much better in a container. Transplant carefully and re-pot, as they don’t like root disturbance. Put them in a well-drained pot filled with sandy potting mix. Move the pot into a sunny or lightly shaded position. Allow the mix to dry out between waterings and, of course, check to make sure the water can drain freely (nothing kills these plants faster than wet feet). Feed occasionally with a native plant food. Pick flowers for indoors or move the pot into a show-off spot, even inside, for a brief period while the plants are looking their best.