Cornflower: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
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Cornflower Plant Description
The old-fashioned annual cornflower is a great choice for gardeners searching for a real blue hue in a flower. These totally double flowers have modest 1 1/2-inch blooms and are considerably easier to grow than tiny carnations.
Centaurea cyranus was formerly a common grassland/pasture flower in Europe and Asia, but it was completely destroyed by advanced herbicides. Cornflower may readily escape and naturalise if not kept in check, as befits its history.
Nonetheless, every flower garden requires at least one can’t-fail plant, and this gently scented flower belongs in the landscape of every newbie.
In all growth zones, the fast-growing blooms will attain a height of up to 48 inches and a spread of up to 12 inches. The flowers are 1 1/2-inch blossoms that bloom from last spring to mid-summer.
The original plant features brilliant blue blooms, although cultivars with pink, white, and scarlet flowers are also available. Cornflower seeds or nursery transplants can be sown in the spring around the time of the last frost.
Seeds can take up to three months to sprout and reach blooming maturity, hence seeds are generally sown six to eight weeks before the last frost in colder locations for faster blossoming. They are endemic to Europe. They can grow up to 12 to 48 inches tall and 10 to 12 inches wide.
How To Care Cornflower?
Cornflowers may be obtained as nursery transplants, as with other common annuals, but they are also quite easy to cultivate from seed. Cornflowers are as simple to grow as they are to manage.
Plants that flounder, which is more common in shady environments, should be staked. Alternatively, you may plant them amid other robust perennials, such as coneflowers, to provide natural stem support.
Cornflowers bloom for roughly ten weeks, from May to mid-July, but deadheading prolongs and expands the flowering period. You can extend the bloom time by seeding once every two weeks.If you cut the blossoms before they droop, cornflowers create awesome dried flowers.
Pull up the plants when the frost kills them to eliminate debris that might harbour fungus or act as insect breeding places. Alternatively, you can remove the plants once the blooming period has passed to make room for late-season plants.
Cornflowers are fascinating flowers that can be used in a variety of ways in both landscaping and residential settings:
1. Cornflowers should be included in the decorative vegetable garden because their honey attracts pollinating insects, which increase the yields of tomatoes, squash, and other pollinator-dependent plants.
2. Cornflowers yield edible flowers, so you may grow them in your kitchen garden to add some colour to your salads. Their flavour has been described as sweet or cucumber-like by others. Cornflowers have a rich history of use as an anti-inflammatory in herbal and natural medicine, so you may use them in your herb garden as well.
3. Cornflowers are an excellent option for wildflower gardens because their brilliant blue blooms attract bees and butterflies. Even organic insecticides, which are still detrimental to bees and other beneficial insects, should be avoided while spraying cornflowers.
4. Cornflowers are famous in bridal bouquets because they are a low-cost, renewable supply of blue flowers, but they are equally pleasant in the household trimming garden. To make both blooms stand out in the flower garden, pair blue cornflowers with annuals that are contrary on the colour wheel, such as orange cosmos or yellow marigolds. There are no severe pest or disease issues with cornflowers. They may have fungal issues in moist, humid circumstances, and aphids and mealybugs may also occur.
How To Grow Sweet Alyssum?
Cornflowers love the full sun, although they may still thrive in partial shade in the afternoon. Plants in shady areas may become leggy and prone to flopping, necessitating staking.
Garden soil that is ordinary and well-drained is ideal. Cornflowers, unlike all the other garden flowers, demand alkaline soil with a pH of 7.2 to 7.8. If your soil is acidic, you can use crumbled limestone on your plant beds.
During the warmest months of July and August, give cornflowers the equivalent of 1 inch of water every week.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
Cornflowers are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, including mild frost and the warmest summer days. They can withstand humidity, but keep a watch on them in these conditions because they are sensitive to fungal illness.
If your soil is poor, fertilise your cornflowers weekly with liquid manure or compost tea. You might not have to feed them at all if you have nice, rich soil.
Varieties of Sweet Alyssum
Cornflowers are known for their bright blue colour, but why don’t they branch out with this simple yearly flower?
1. The blooms of ‘Blue Boy’ are a brilliant periwinkle blue.
2. Plants from the ‘Tall Double Mixed’ series come in white, pink, and blue hues.
3. ‘Blackball’ is an uncommon cultivar with deep red poms on its blossoms.
4. ‘Dwarf Blue Midget’ blooms at 6 inches and reaches a height of 12 inches, making it ideal for pots.
5. Plants of the ‘Burgundy Beauties Mix’ produce three varieties of blossoms: bicolor burgundy-white flowers, solid burgundy flowers, and burgundy flowers with white tips.
Centuarea Cyranus vs Centuarea Montana
Cornflowers, basket flowers, bluebonnet, blue bottle, blue bow, blue cap, boutonniere flower, and injured sickle are all popular names for Centaurea cyanus plants, which have been cultivated for millennia.
To complicate matters further, there are also perennial Centaurea species that appear extremely similar and have the popular phrase “cornflower.” One of these plants is C. montana, a common garden perennial.
Even though species are commonly mistaken, the distinctions between them are obvious when examined next to each other. The perennial C. montana has the same deep blue hue as the annual C. cyanus, but the blooms have single petals that give them a wispy look, and they have a richer, reddish purple core that the annual cornflower does not have.
The lance-shaped leaves of the annual cornflower are fuller, and the plants are often shorter in size. In addition, perennial C. montana blooms a bit sooner than C. cyranus.
How To Propagate Cornflower?
Cornflowers are rather easy to propagate, as one might anticipate from a plant that self-seeds so rapidly. The most straightforward method is to collect seeds from dried flower heads and store them until planting season.
Self-seeding volunteers that grow up in the garden in the spring are also reasonably straightforward to dig up and transplant—a regular occurrence if you haven’t thoroughly deadheaded spent blooms the previous season.
How To Grow Cornflower From Seed?
Cornflower seeds may be purchased in packs of 200 for less than $5, making this a perfect flower for those on a budget. Even if you’ve never grown plants from seed before, you’ll have a good chance of starting cornflowers.
Sow straight in the garden in late January or after the first frost. Planting too early isn’t a problem; Mother Nature will choose whenever the seeds might germinate. About 1/2 inch of soil should be used to coat the seeds.
Keep the seedbed wet until it germinates, which takes about 10 days in warm weather. Cornflowers can withstand a certain amount of crowding, but thinning seedlings improves flowering and plant vitality.
If you want to assure early blossoming, plant seeds inside six to eight weeks before the last forecast frost. In a seedling tray, use seed-starter mix or regular potting soil.
Keep the soil moist and warm until the seeds sprout, then grow in a bright spot or sunny window until it’s time to plant outside.
You may gather the brown seed pods at the end of the season and separate the seeds to replant in other locations or interact with friends. Next year, expect additional cornflower blossoms in the same location as they are self-seeding.