Once regarded as either a beautiful wild flower or a cornfield weed, depending on your viewpoint, the wild cornflower is rarely seen today, but selective breeding work through the years has produced many magnificent colours and tones in addition to the traditional ‘cornflower’ blue.
These hardy annuals look great in beds and borders, especially when part of an annual bedding display, or a cottage garden, flowering from late spring and summer into autumn.
Also commonly known as ‘bachelor’s button’ they are still grown commercially in the fen-edge villages close to our premises and are delightful as cut flowers, along with being suitable for drying. They are also highly attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, strongly benefiting your garden.
How to Sow and Grow Cornflowers
Cornflowers grow and flower best in sunny positions. They need fertile soil enriched with lots of organic matter, which holds plenty of moisture.
Sow outdoors where they are to flower, 0.5cm (¼”) deep, directly into finely prepared soil which has already been watered. Seedlings usually appear in 14–28 days. Thin seedlings to 20cm (8”) apart. Water well until plants are established. For a continuous display, make sowings at two to three weekly intervals. Sowings made in curves rather than straight lines often create a more pleasing effect. Late summer and autumn sowings will flower the following year, often earlier than spring sowings.