How to Take Care of Craspedia

How to Take Care of Craspedia

Craspedia adds a ton of personality to your garden. Now that you have decided to grow one, let us help you with valuable information about them as well as on how to properly take care of them.

General Information about Craspedia

Scientific name: Craspedia canens

Family: Asteraceae

Native Habitat: Australia and New Zealand

Plant Type: Perennial plant

Blooming Period: Spring and summer

Sunlight Needs: 6 hours of direct sunlight every day

Hardiness Zones: USDA 9 – 11

Soil type and pH: Well-draining, 5.8 – 6.5 pH

Maximum height: 2 feet

Craspedia, also commonly known as Billy Balls, are plants native to Australia and New Zealand. They can be easily distinguished thanks to the yellow round balls on the tip of their stem.

Adding them to your plant collection shouldn’t be too much of a challenge, as they’re one of the easier flowers to grow. Here is some general information you should know about Craspedia to help you maintain them better.

What type of flower is Craspedia?

What type of flower is Craspedia

Craspedia globosa, commonly referred to as Billy Balls, are perennial flowers native to Australia and New Zealand. They are found typically in warmer climates with USDA ratings of 8 to 11.

Craspedia can grow up to 30 inches tall and 20 inches wide. They propagate through seeds and prefer direct sunlight exposure with a good source of water. 

They are also known for being hardy and able to survive during drought as long as they’re well-established in the area. 

The flowers they produce are like small yellow golf balls, which can add a lot of charm to many gardens and flower arrangements!

Why are Craspedia referred to as Billy Balls?

Why are Craspedia referred to as Billy Balls

Craspedia are referred to as Billy Balls due to their ball-like appearance, which is commonly viewed as quirky and fun. 

These yellow balls of flowers sticking out on the end of the plant’s stem also makes them look like chicken drumsticks, which is why they’re also called drumsticks in other parts of the world.

How long does Craspedia last?

Craspedia flowers can last up to 10 days when cut from the plant. 

If placed on a vase with constant maintenance, the cut flowers can survive longer as long as it is kept away from direct sunlight.

To keep your cut flowers stay fresh longer, always replace the water in the vase every 3 days and cut the stems before submerging them in the water again. Keep the vase at room temperature and away from direct sunlight or air conditioners.

How long does it take for Craspedia to bloom?

How long does it take for Craspedia to bloom

Craspedia can begin blooming within 12 weeks or 1 season from planting. 

If planted on its preferred soil in USDA zones 8 to 11, Craspedia can bloom easily with no problem whatsoever.

Craspedia blooms from spring to summer when the temperature allows for high humidity and moist soil which are the best conditions for the flower. 

Are Craspedia flowers perennial or annual?

Most Craspedia species are perennial except for the Craspedia haplorrhiza, which is an annual flower. 

Because most Craspedia are perennial, you can always expect them to grow back every spring.

Tips on Taking Care of Craspedia

AddingCraspedia to your garden is easy and quite fun given how low maintenance these plants are. We’ve listed the best care practices you can do to always keep your Craspedia blooming and healthy.

Planting Your Craspedia

Planting Your Craspedia

For best results, Craspedia must be planted in areas with a USDA rating of 9–11, but they can still thrive on a USDA rating of 8. 

They can be propagated by cutting. However, they still grow best from seeds. 

You can begin sowing their seeds in the first weeks of spring—in late February to early March when the chances of soil frosting have come to pass.

To begin, simply scatter the seeds on the soil and cover them up with light dirt to allow for germination. 

After 2 to 3 weeks, you can now safely transfer the newly germinated seeds to deeper holes which should at least be twice as deep and wide as the root. 

Make sure that each hole is spaced at least 12 inches from one another to allow for unimpeded growth of your Craspedia.

Watering Your Craspedia

Craspedia are hardy plants that can survive droughts well. Therefore, you only really need to water them when the topmost soil is dry. 

Because of this, always remember the amount of water you provide as too much might drown a Craspedia. A good indicator that you watered a Craspedia enough is if the topmost soil is moist. 

It should only be watered again when the soil is dry.

Required Amount of Sunlight Exposure for Craspedia

Required Amount of Sunlight Exposure for Craspedia

Craspedia needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight exposure every day. Unlike other plants which will wilt in constant sunlight exposure, Craspedia actually loves to stay under the sun in part due to their hardy nature and the area they came from.

If you can only place your Craspedia indoors, make sure to keep it beside a window that receives the most sunlight. 

Fertilizing Your Craspedia

Fertilizing Your Craspedia

The best fertilizers to use for your Craspedia are slow-releasing fertilizers. Slow-release fertilizers deliver nutrients into the soil in small quantities over time, unlike other fertilizers that tend to fully nourish the soil in only a few days.

Aside from artificial slow-release fertilizers, you can also use natural ones like compost and manure to enrich the soil for your Craspedia. 

Being a low-maintenance plant means that Craspedia doesn’t need much soil enrichment unlike other flowers and can rely on simple kitchen waste for its nutrition needs.

Additional Tips and Info for Craspedia Care

Aside from general care, you can also rely on other methods like mulching to further improve the health of your Craspedia and keep it away from pests and diseases.

Now that you know the basics of taking care of Craspedia, here are other things you need to know when maintaining a Craspedia. 

How hard is it to maintain Craspedia?

Craspedia are some of the easiest plants to grow in your garden. Their hardy nature allows them to survive extreme conditions other plants might not be able to live in. 

Having evolved to live in the Australian outback has given Craspedia the necessary traits to survive in extreme drought and soil with poor nutrition. As such, a Craspedia living in a well-maintained garden only allows it to grow better than living in the wild.

Because Craspedia is low-maintenance, many growers must take care not to overwater them. They are used to living with less water than other flowers, and therefore, you must only water them at times when the topsoil is too dry.

Mulching around Your Craspedia

Mulching around Your Craspedia

You can place gravel around your Craspedia as mulch to prevent the growth of weeds around it. Aside from weed control, mulching is also beneficial for Craspedia, as it regulates the temperature of the soil and blocks excess heat from sunlight.

Also, mulching helps keep the soil moist, as it blocks the water from evaporating due to sunlight. As a result, a Craspedia with mulch around it grows better since the ground remains moist enough for its needs without constant re-watering.

Pest Control for Your Craspedia

Regular inspection and maintenance are the keys to preventing the destruction of your Craspedia by pests. While it is true that Craspedia is a resilient plant that can withstand extreme conditions, they can still fall prey to common pests in your garden.

What is the most common pest of Craspedia?

What is the most common pest of Craspedia

The most common pests that can destroy your Craspedia are aphids. These tiny insects can eat the leaves and stems of a Craspedia, which can cause it to wilt and die.

Always make sure to inspect your plants carefully for any aphids, and immediately quarantine a plant if it’s found to have aphids on it, as they may migrate and start feeding on your other plants as well.

Luckily, aphids are easy to get rid of and only require plant-based insecticides like canola oil to remove them.

Other Notable Craspedia Pests You Need to Look Out For
Other Notable Craspedia Pests You Need to Look Out For

Aside from aphids, there are also other common garden pests like snails and slugs which can pose a threat to the health of your Craspedia as well as other plants in your garden.

Their constant need to feed on leaves can also lead to the wilting of your Craspedia and eventually its death. A good idea to control them is to always keep the area around your plants clean and free of debris.

Without any debris for them to crawl on, snails will have a harder time reaching the leaves of your Craspedia and prevent them from feeding on the leaves.

What diseases can a Craspedia get?

What diseases can a Craspedia get

The most common diseases of Craspedia are those caused by fungi like Botrytis Blight, Fusarium Wilt, and Powdery Mildew. 

If left untreated, these fungi can attack the vascular system of your Craspedia and prevent it from getting the necessary nutrients to survive.

Botrytis Blight is easily noticeable thanks to the small brown spots it produces on the stems and leaves of your Craspedia. These spots can appear dry and blackish on the edges.

Meanwhile, Fusarium Wilt causes the older leaves on your Craspedia to produce a yellowish color on their veins and the oldest leaves to wilt and fall off quickly. 

If the plant isn’t removed immediately, Fusarium Wilt may spread rapidly and further cause damage to your other Craspedia plants despite constant watering and care. Make sure to throw away the infected plant and not use it as compost.

Powdery Mildew might not be as severe as the two diseases mentioned earlier, but it can spread quickly from your infected Craspedia onto other more delicate plants which can be a real problem.

A symptom of Powdery Mildew is the appearance of a white powdery covering on the leaves and stems of your plants. 

To prevent the spread of disease in your garden, always make sure that you have a fungicide spray at the ready.

How do I prevent pests from infesting my Craspedia?

The best way to prevent pest infestation on your Craspedia is to keep your garden well-maintained and clean. 

Pests like aphids and snails love damp and dark gardens full of debris, as they can travel easily between your plants under these conditions.

While it can be ultimately inevitable for pests to arrive in your garden—as they can come from new plants you add—keeping your garden clean and well-lit keeps them contained only to a few plants.

With constant maintenance and inspection, you can always deal with garden pests quickly before they can pose a serious threat to your Craspedia and other plants in your garden.

How do you prune Craspedia?

How do you prune Craspedia

The best time to prune your Craspedia is during the early hours of the morning when most of the moisture is still in the stem. For best results, you can cut 0.25 inches from the base of the Craspedia stems. 

Always use a well-conditioned pair of pruning scissors to keep the process quick and with minimal damage to your Craspedia.

Pruning your Craspedia can allow it to grow larger and better as you let the more healthy stems grow out and spread.

What seasons are the best times to prune Craspedia?

Pruning a Craspedia is best done after their blooming in late autumn or during the late winter and early spring before their blooming starts once again.

Doing it this way allows your Craspedia to produce better flowers while keeping the plant compact and dense, which is perfect for smaller garden settings. 

Aside from making your Craspedia more beautiful, pruning also keeps it healthy and safe from diseases, as constant removal of dying or diseased stems can prevent fungi from spreading to more healthy stems and leaves.

Other Plant Care Resources for You