Extra large Craspedia grown and photographed by Moonshot Farm


This guide is derived and condensed from Danziger's Craspedia Cultivation Guide. We highly recommend reading it in its entirety, as it contains essential growing information. Danziger is the breeder of our GypsophilaVeronica SkylerGlory Solidago, and Scoop Scabiosa.

All photos on this page are credit to Rebecca Kutzer-Rice, Moonshot Farm.

Common Name Craspedia (aka Billy Balls, Billy Button, Drumstick)
Genus  Craspedia
Species globosa
Family Asteraceae
Life Cycle  Of the 26 varieties, most are tender perennials 
Tray Size  50 cell half tray
Plug Care
Harden off for the field, or transplant right away into a tunnel. If you cannot transplant, bump up to larger pots. During the first ten days after transplant (establishment stage), overhead irrigation should be used and can be supplemented with drip irrigation and fertilizer. 
Netting / Staking Netting is recommended. 
Temperature Range
Craspedia can take a light winter frost but prefers moderate to warm temperatures. Possibly hardy to zone 8, but use caution.
Spacing 12" between plants. 
Soil Preference Commercially it is cultivated in sterilized soils. Craspedia is vulnerable to Fusarium, which is present in nearly all soils worldwide. Opt for a location with good drainage and good airflow to minimize fungal issues. 
Day Length Facultative long day. 
Pinching Pinching is done the base of the central stem, when the foliar base is well established. By pinching at a low point we are inducing new shoots to arise, and thus can sustain a longer period of harvest.
When to Plant Spring or Summer
Harvesting Opening of the flowers starts from the bottom to the top. Harvest when 1/4 of the the flowers in the cluster are open. They can yield up to 20 stems per plant per flush of boom.
Post Harvest Care Place stems in water with bactericide after harvest
(standard holding solution will suffice). Also dries better than almost any other flower! 
Diseases / Insects Aphids and Fusarium.  See the complete Craspedia Cultivation Guide for treatments. 
Bailey's Notes

I grew these in Vermont a few years ago and despite our cool temperatures, they did really well! I sold them for $1 each at farmer's market and they sold out immediately every week. They very quickly paid for themselves. In a warmer climate with warmer winters, I would have gotten several flushes of bloom and they would have lived for a couple/few years. Nonetheless, they were profitable even in our short summer season.

We are hoping to offer them for spring and fall shipping in the future. This is a difficult crop to propogate. 

Resources  Craspedia Cultivation Guide


Craspedia grown by Moonshot Farm

Moonshot Farm Craspedia Trial, September 2022

Rebecca Kutzer-Rice of Moonshot Farm in East Windsor, New Jersey trialed Paintball Craspedia plugs starting in late summer 2022.  While the planting time was not ideal for a cold winter grower, Rebecca successfully overwintered her Craspedia in a minimally heated greenhouse for bloom the following spring of 2023.  Read on for Rebecca's observations of growing this crop, below. All photos on this page are courtesy of Moonshot Farm

Craspedia, left, grown and photographed by Moonshot Farm


Farmer Bailey: Where did you grow your Craspedia plugs? 

Rebecca Kutzer-Rice: We planted in September in a heated greenhouse.

FB: How long did they take from plug transplant to bloom? 

RKR: They began blooming in late March, with the main flush in mid-April through Mother's Day, and are still blooming a little bit now (first week of July, 2023). First cuts were the largest (4' tall stems and golf ball-sized or larger blooms), and subsequent stems have been slightly shorter with smaller heads (still superior to seed strain).  I estimate we have cut at least 4-5 stems per plant, which was lower than it seemed like they would originally produce; possibly because of stress, underwatering, disease.

(Bailey's side note- They can produce up to 20 stems per flush when given more ideal conditions.)

FB: How often did you water? 

RKR: To be honest, they've been pretty neglected and definitely have dried out. I get the feeling they do not want excessive water. 

FB: How often did you fertilize? 

RKR: I have not added additional fertilizer, but as this first flush is wrapping up, I intend to cut the stems back and fertilize. I expect we will get a fall flush. 

FB: Any observations about the way the crop behaved? 

RKR: They did get aphids at some point over the winter but have also been surprisingly resistant to thrips. Powdery mildew and botrytis also have appeared but we were mostly able to get rid of both using Zerotol and BotryStop. 

The greenhouse did freeze during a polar vortex, and got down to 29-30F.  The Craspedia (which are planted at the far outside end) survived, but other plants (Plectranthus) did not, so it has some hardiness. Based on its behavior, I would guess it is a facultative long day bloomer.  It really beefed up over the winter before blooming. I highly recommend netting this one! Like the seed strain, they like the cool temps. 

Like all Craspedia, they dried beautifully. They were an amazing pop in bouquets and we also sold a lot of the XL ones in our markets at $5 each. 

I think we planted at 9" or 12" in fabric; the plants get large and I would recommend at least 12".  

FB: We are deeply grateful to Rebecca and Mark for this feedback and their beautiful photos! Follow Moonshot Farm on Instagram to see more of their flowers and farmstands. 

Bouquets with Craspedia by Moonshot Farm