How Helichrysum propagates
The Italian helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum (Roth) G. Don, 1830) is a plant of the Asteraceae family. Many species belong to this genus but here, in the method of propagation, we will refer to Helichrysum italicum.
The Italian helichrysum is a small shrub native to Southern Europe that grows in arid and sandy places and in uncultivated areas, from the plain to 800 meters; in Italy it is widespread almost everywhere.
The helichrysum can be multiplied both by seed and by cutting and division of tufts, preferably on sandy and well-drained soil.
Propagation by seed –
In seed propagation this operation must be performed in spring. If you have to propagate by seed, it is advisable to collect the seed on the plants the summer before the end of the vegetative period. In this case the seeds must be stored in a cool and dry place.
Sowing is then carried out in the spring when you are sure you have reached a constant temperature of 20 ° C which allows for an excellent percentage of germination.
It is advisable to sow in small pots, which will then be transferred into larger containers as the plant grows. In this way, if you start from seed, planting in the ground can take place in the spring of the following year, so in the first year you can keep the seedlings in pots.
The sowing operation can also be carried out in September, immediately after the seed is harvested; if you opt for this period, however, you must take care to be able to grow the seedlings in a protected place to avoid damage due to the winter cold. However, remember that the helichrysum is a rustic plant that tolerates a minimum temperature of -5 / -10 ° C.
Propagation by cuttings –
The helichrysum, as mentioned, can also be propagated vegetatively, in two ways, namely by cuttings and by subdivision of the tufts.
In propagation by cuttings, the individual portions are taken from the top and must be about 4 cm long. The best time to take the cuttings is at the end of winter. It must be remembered that the young cuttings must be kept in a protected place, such as a greenhouse or, in any case, in an area with sufficient light but not in contact with direct winter cold.
In propagation by cuttings, rooting occurs in high percentages (up to 80%) in a period ranging from 30 to 40 days.
Propagation by division of tufts –
This type of propagation must be carried out in spring, when you have seedlings already equipped with a root system. Generally this technique is recommended for those who already have potted plants and want to duplicate them.
For this reason, if you have bought plants in the nursery, you can use these plants to divide them into tufts and to be planted in the garden in the spring when the seedlings are already sufficiently grown and with a good root system.
For the details of the cultivation technique, refer to the following sheet.