5 expert tips for healthy and beautiful brachycome

October 9, 2015

Brachycome, or Swan River daisy, is a care-free annual that adds a cloud of soft colour to any garden. Here's some ways to grow better looking and healthier brachycome.

5 expert tips for healthy and beautiful brachycome

1. Integrate it into your existing garden

  • The cool flower colour makes brachycome a pretty companion to any plant with pink, purple, violet, white, or yellow flowers.
  • The plant is a handsome complement to verbena and coreopsis. It creates an interesting contrast with the broad leaves of sweet potato vine.
  • Its tidy, mounding growth habit is best at the front of the border or as an edging.
  • Brachycome is also a good choice for filling in around tall, leggy plants and carpeting bare spots.
  • In a container or window box, brachycome sends its short, sprawling stems cascading downward over the rim.

2. Give it the right kind of soil

  • This flexible plant tolerates either sun or partial shade but demands excellent drainage.
  • It hates to be waterlogged, so it's ideal in rocky, sandy soil, where water can pass through quickly.
  • If you have a windy location — perhaps on an exposed porch or balcony or beside an open field, a lake, or the ocean — brachycome will hold up well where many other plants would perish.
  • It's often used to tuck into crevices in stone walls or fill cracks between flagstones in walkways.

3. Plant them at the right time

  • For best results, purchase bedding plants in spring.
  • You can also sow seeds indoors six weeks before the last frost. Take note that seed-sown plants need a lot of time to mature enough to bloom.
  • Seeds require light to germinate, so sprinkle seeds on the surface of a moistened commercial seed-starting medium.
  • Moisten the seeds with a mister immediately after sowing. Then mist them lightly each day until they have germinated.

4. Perhaps a pot will be the best environment

  • This little daisy thrives in containers, but only if the pot is equipped with fast-draining soil and a generous drainage hole.
  • Set the container on a sunny windowsill or under fluorescent lights at warm room temperatures.
  • To encourage branching, cut off the growing tips of the seedlings when they're 12 centimetres (five inches) tall.
  • Transplant them into small pots, five centimetres (two inches) in diameter, and grow them on a sunny windowsill where there is low humidity.
  • The seedlings can be planted outdoors when evening temperatures remain above 10°C in a sunny, well-drained location.

5. Keep it safe

  • Brachycome is not a plant that's prone to problems if you provide the dry, well-drained conditions that it prefers.
  • The plants quickly rot when the atmosphere is very humid, however, or if the soil is soggy.
  • Aphids can occasionally be a problem. To control aphids, knock them off plants with a strong stream of water from a hose. Or, apply insecticidal soap according to the package directions.

The cheerful little pinwheels of the brachycome can be a useful and welcome addition to any garden or patio. Whether it's in a pot or in the garden, be sure to provide this delicate plant with everything it needs to grow healthy and strong.

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