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Growing cornflowers in your garden – Known as cornflowers in certain parts of the world, bachelor buttons (Centaurea cyanus) are a cool-season annual flower that blooms early in the spring and is quite simple to cultivate. There are a lot of beneficial insects that live around bachelor buttons. Find out how to grow them and you’ll get them all in your garden.
In the low desert Arizona garden, bachelor button flowers fill the gap between the end of the ranunculus blossoms and the arrival of the heat-loving blooms of zinnias and dahlias, which is a good thing. Bachelor buttons thrive in warm weather until the temperatures become too high in May or June. In more temperate regions, the blooms may be expected to linger throughout the summer.
Growing Cornflowers: 5 Proven Techniques
- Choose the best location for the expanding bachelor buttons.
Bachelor buttons develop best when they get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. A place with afternoon shade in a place like the low desert of Arizona can help to extend the blooming time.
Coupled with the fact that bachelor buttons reseed readily and often “naturalize” (i.e., self-sow for a second crop of blooms the following season), bachelor buttons are regarded as invasive in certain locations. Consult your local extension office to determine whether or not planting is authorized.
Bachelor buttons thrive in a wide range of soil types as long as the soil is well-drained. Before you begin planting, prepare the planting space by adding compost. It is not essential to apply additional fertilizer throughout the growth season.
Give bachelor buttons plenty of space to develop and allow them proper air circulation. Depending on the kind, they may grow to be 2–3 feet (61–91 cm) tall and 18 inches (45 cm) wide at their widest point. Despite the fact that bachelor button branches might be fragile, they do not typically need to be supported.
Bachelor buttons do well in pots since they have a shallow root system. Ensure that the container you choose has a minimum depth of 12 inches.
- Plant bachelor buttons in the appropriate spot.
Growing cornflowers or bachelor buttons from seeds that are planted directly in the garden works nicely. I adore sowing a few seeds in each garden bed and then watching the flowers emerge throughout the spring. Botanical Interests sells bachelor button seeds, which I utilize.
Bachelor button seedlings are a kind of bachelor button. When they have established themselves, I move the trimmed seedlings to different parts of the garden.
When the soil temperature is between 60 °F and 70 °F, direct sow seeds in the garden approximately 14″ deep when the soil temperature is between 60 °F and 70 °F. In most cases, germination takes between 7 and 10 days. Plants should be spaced 12″ apart. All of the additional seedlings are carefully transplanted to different parts of the garden.
Plant seeds in the low deserts of Arizona or other mild winter climates from late September to November, depending on the season.
- Promote the blooming of more bachelor button flowers.
Bachelor button plants develop at a rapid pace; they seem to sprout and bloom all at the same time. They start off as little seedlings, and then grow into enormous plants overnight. To stimulate branching and long, robust stems, cut the primary stem nearly to the ground level above 3–4 side shoots when the plants are several inches tall, or when the plants are several inches tall.
The blossoms attract beneficial insects, which in turn assist in keeping aphids and other pests (which tend to appear in large numbers in the early spring) under control.
Aphids on bachelor button plants and blooms may be removed by spraying them with a stream of water, or you can leave them alone and the beneficial predators that adore bachelor buttons, such as lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps, will come and take care of them for you.
The best way to encourage more flowers to grow is to keep picking or deadheading flowers all season long.
- Use bachelor buttons as a cut flower or as a salad garnish in a variety of dishes.
The freshly gathered blossoms provide a splash of color to spring bouquets. To ensure the best quality, harvest the stems first thing in the morning, when the bloom is just starting to open. Flowers continue to open after they have been picked. Remove all of the leaves that are below the first set of leaves. In a vase, flowers may survive for 1-2 weeks.
Bachelor button blossoms are edible, and they are often used as a garnish in salads and herbal teas. Pick the blooms as soon as they open and utilize them as you see fit.
- Save the seeds from bachelor buttons to use in next season’s planting.
Once you’ve mastered the art of growing cornflowers, you’ll have enough seeds to use for years to come. Bachelor button seeds may be saved by leaving the biggest blooms on the plant at the conclusion of the growing season. The blossoms will eventually dry up and fade away.
Remove the fading blossoms and keep them in a paper bag until they are completely dry. Once the seeds have dried, rub them off the base of each bloom and keep them in a cool, dark spot for the longest possible storage life.