Growing Cornflower

Cornflowers

Cornflowers have showy blooms and are an easy-to-grown plant that is great for beginners.

Cornflowers are annual plants that are native to Europe and the United Kingdom where farmers have mostly eradicated them and are now rare to find growing in the wild.

Cornflowers are also known as bachelor’s buttons and blue bottles.

The blooms of the cornflower plant are known to attract many pollinators because of their super sweet sugar content of 34% and their seed are eaten by a variety of birds such as goldfinches.

They are also dried and used for many different health-related issues around the world in the practice of using natural plant medicines.

PLANTING CORNFLOWER

Cornflowers are best planted in hardiness zones 2 through 11, in well-drained soil between 60 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit and in a spot with full sun.

When planting they are best sown about 8 to 12 inches apart and about half an inch deep during the early spring.

When sown they typically germinate within 7 to 10 days and prefer a soil pH range between 6.1 through 7.8.

For best results, it is recommended to till some compost into the soil before sowing any seeds to prepare the soil, this is known as amending the soil.

This will help to provide nutrients to the soil as well as help the ground retain water and to keep the soil loose so the roots have an easier time growing.

CORNFLOWERS USES

Cornflowers are typically used by gardeners as a border, in flower beds, in cottage gardens, and in potting containers.

They are also used as cut flowers in different flower arrangements and vases.

FERTILIZING AND WATERING

Cornflowers require a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or a homemade liquid fertilizer can be used.

During the summer months, it is recommended to add a high phosphorus fertilizer to increase the production of blooms.

They require about one inch of water weekly and may need more during the hottest and driest times during the summer months.

MULCHING

Adding mulch to your cornflower will help the soil retain water and will reduce the amount of time it takes to water them.

The thickness of the bed of mulch is best between 1 to 2 inches thick but the thickness may need to be reduced if you live in a rainy climate or if you are receiving more rain the usual.

The mulch will also help with weed control and it will need to be added or replaced yearly when the majority of it has decomposed.

BLOOMS

Cornflower Blooms

Cornflowers bloom from May through mid-July lasting for about 10 weeks with blue, red, purple, pink, and white blooms.

Their showy blooms are slightly bigger than a quarter and generally last for about 10 weeks and they are often used in flower arrangements.

The blooms of Cornflowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

When the blooms wilt removing them will cause the plant to produce more flowers.

This process is called deadheading, when the blooms are removed from the plant before it has a chance to produce seed the plant will rebloom in an attempt to produce seed for the next season.

PROPAGATING

If you would like your cornflower to return the next season then you can let some or all of the blooms go to seed.

The seed can be collected or allowed to fall to the ground to sprout the following season.

PEST

  • Aphids
  • Eriophyid mites
  • Japanese beetles
  • Leafhoppers

DISEASES

VARIETIES

Most varieties of cornflowers grow to about three tall but breeders have created dwarf varieties that grow to about two feet tall.

BLUE BOY CORNFLOWER

  • Plant size – grows to about 36 inches tall and 18 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – blue
  • Bloom attract – butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes

BLUE DIADEM CORNFLOWER

  • Plant size – grows to about 30 inches tall and 12 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming color – blue
  • Bloom attract – butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes

BLACK BALL CORNFLOWER

  • Plant size – grows to about 36 inches tall and 20 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming color – dark purple
  • Bloom attract – butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes

GOLD BULLION CORNFLOWER

  • Plant size – grows to about 30 inches tall and 12 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming color – blue
  • Bloom attract – butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Foliage – lance-shaped yellowish green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes

AMETHYST DREAM CORNFLOWER

  • Plant size – grows to about 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming color – purple
  • Bloom attract – butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes