Position – Full sun
Soil – Well-drained
Flowering Period – Summer
Hardiness – Hardy
Berkheya are fast growing shrubs or perennials with prickly foliage and yellow, purple or white daisy-like flower heads that flourish in abundance throughout the summer. There are roughly 75 species of Berkheya that are originally sourced from the tropics of Africa. They are best suited to flower beds and borders within cottage, coastal and informal garden settings. They will also make divine cut and dried flowers. You should expect to see Berkheya grow to an approximate height of 1m (40") and a spread of 80cm (32").
Berkheya are best planted in well-drained soil of clay, chalk and loam within an acidic, alkaline or neutral PH balance. They are best positioned in a site with access to full sunlight where protection from adverse weathers is offered. Amend the planting area with a generous amount of organic matter to improve overall drainage and mix thoroughly to the native soil. Dig a hole that will accommodate the depth and width of your plant, leaving extra space for the roots to initially spread. Once settled into position, water well.
Once established, Berkheya are tough and resilient, surviving with very little water. However, to produce lush and healthy growth, they will require a thorough watering once a week during dry spells in the summer. Remove spent flower heads in the autumn to encourage a further flush of flowers and protect from extremely cold temperatures during the winter.
It is possible to propagate Berkheya from seed. Shortly after flowering, seeds ripen within a few weeks and fall out the centre of the old flower heads. These can then be sown in a seed tray with well drained potting mix and sand. Once they are at a size that is easy to handle, they can be transferred into small pots.
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