The Bachelor’s Button Mix is a classic favorite. Also known as Cornflower, these dreamy flowers require little care and are very drought tolerant.
How to Sow
Cornflower seed should be sown directly in the garden after frost.
- Direct sow in average soil in full sun after danger of heavy frost.
- Select a location in full to part shade with good rich well-drained organic soil protected from wind.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
- Sow seeds evenly and cover with ½ inch of fine soil.
- Firm soil lightly, water and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days.
- Thin plants to stand 12 inches when seedlings are 1 inch high.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep soil evenly moist but not wet. Plants are drought tolerant, but watering during dry spells will improve flowering
- After plants are about 6 inches tall, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- Taller varieties may require staking
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Remove plants after they are killed by heavy frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Cornflowers are drought-tolerant and easy to grow. It is a great flower to introduce children to gardening. Deadhead cornflowers to keep them flowering.
- Cornflowers are perfect for cutting and drying, and they make a great addition to any cottage garden, wildflower meadow, or border. Dwarf cultivars are good for edgings and containers.
- Cornflowers are short season bloomers so to extend their flowering season plant a second crop two weeks later.