Acroclinium are easy to grow and the blooms make great fresh cut flowers for accenting a bouquet and as dried flowers for long-lasting decorations.
The best way to grow Acroclinium is to move to northern California, or to its native Australia, and in the middle of a Canadian winter, I think that’s a very good suggestion in general. The flowers will always be bigger if you live in warmer northern California than if you live in Ontario or New York State, but there are some things you can do to make sure that this cheerful flower reaches its full potential and brightens your yard.
The best way to grow Acroclinium is to not try too hard. Seriously.
- Indoors and out, this plant will prefer to be put in one place and left there, so avoid transplanting.
- If you’re putting it in pots, make sure you put the seeds into biodegradable pots that can be put directly into the soil so as not to disturb the roots (peat pots work well).
- Lightly press the seed into the surface of the soil and do not cover.
- This seed will do better if it can see the sun, so the same goes for if you’re growing it inside a greenhouse or outside. The only difference for planting inside or out is the soil temperature.
- If you’re growing in a greenhouse or sun porch, you can sow the seeds around March 15th in soil at 65°F/ 8°C.
- Outside, wait a little longer until the average temperature is 61°F/16°C, around April or May.
- Acroclinium seeds will take about 15 days to germinate, longer if they can’t feel the sun.
Accroclinium has been renamed Rhodanthe by the botany folks but the seed is still sold under the Accroclinium label.
If you’ve germinated Acroclinium into degradable pots, transplant the pots directly into the soil outside in mid-June.
The real trick with this plant is not to disturb the roots.
The plant yields one good stem per plant, and to make sure that this one stem will give the biggest flowers possible, feed liquid fish emulsion every second week from June through August, which will be your flowering season if you planted in May.
These plants like cooler days and shorter day length, which is why they won’t do so well in the hot summers of Ontario and New York.
Harvest the cut flowers just before they open to maximize the time they’re in your vase, and when they are fully flowered, hang them upside down to dry them.
This annual should grow between 14-24 in/ 36-61 cm. tall
Young plants are susceptible to aphids and tarnish plant bug, so keep an eye out and spray with an organic solution or try a blast of water applied at a strong enough pressure to knock the bugs off, but not so strong that it breaks the stems.