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.
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.