How To Grow Bachelor Buttons?
Bachelor Buttons belonging to the Centaurea cyanus genus is an annual wildflower native to Europe and Asia. Also known as cornflower, this lightly fragrant plant has been a staple among European and American gardeners due to its minimalistic requirements and attractive double flowers that resemble tiny carnations.
The frilly and showy flowers grow on tall and grey-colored sturdy stems, reaching from 2 to 3 feet in height, depending on the variety.
Its genus houses several varieties which boast a wide range of colors besides the traditional blue shade, such as red, white, and pink.
In addition, to being a must-have addition to any garden, they are equally fascinating as cut flowers, providing a dash of colorful and aromatic ambiance to your living space.
Bachelor Buttons Care
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In some U.S. states, Cornflowers are considered invasive as they self-seed, and it is not extraordinary to see a bachelor button growing in remote fields with plenty of sun.
Their blooming period lasts for 10 weeks, from May to July, but if you begin practicing deadheading, that will significantly extend and increase their blooming.
These plants are easy- to grow and do not require special knowledge or expertise to care for them. However, you need to follow some simple steps and advice if you want buttons to thrive.
Bachelor buttons thrive in average and well-drained soil with pH ranging from slightly alkaline to partly acidic.
One of the ways to improve your soil’s drainage is to add some builder’s sand. If your soil is highly acidic, you may add some crushed limestone.
These gorgeous plants enjoy a full sun location but will manage with a partial shade during the afternoon.
However, prolonged exposure to shady conditions can cause your plant to become leggy and floppy, which might call for plant staking. It thrives best if it gets 6-8 hours of direct sun a day.
Cornflowers need 1 inch of water per week, especially during the hottest months, such as July and August.
The best period to water your buttons is in the morning, so their stems and leaves can dry before nightfall. Water retention on the leaves can cause the appearance of mold, especially in dense plantations.
In addition, refreshed by morning watering, the plant will more easily withstand the heat of a summer day.
Temperature and Humidity
In terms of temperature, this is a very adaptable plant. At the beginning of its life cycle, it can withstand low temperatures and late spring frosts will not significantly damage it.
It also withstands high summer temperatures with ease without diminishing flowering. Basically, it will grow anywhere in USA climate zones 2 to 11.
Like any plant, Bachelor buttons can benefit greatly from additional supplements that may come in liquid manure or compost tea. However, if your soil is rich in nutrients, there is no need to fertilize your cornflowers. This plant is very resilient and will grow in relatively poor soil.
How To Grow Bachelor Buttons From Seed?
Another advantage of this plant is that you can sow it directly on the flowerbed in the spring. The time of sowing, of course, depends on your climate zone, so in general, you can do the sowing as soon as the soil is soft enough to work on it. For example, in climate zone 2, it is usually at the end of March, while in other regions, sowing can be done much earlier.
The sowing process consists of a few simple steps:
- Dig up, chop, clear of weeds and loosen the soil.
- Make indentations that look like rows a quarter of an inch deep.
- Lay the seeds at a distance of two or three inches and cover them with soil lightly.
- Water after sowing, and as a precaution in colder areas, you can cover the bed with a thin layer of mulch.
Germination lasts seven to 14 days at a 60 to 65 F temperature. New plants may look fragile and tender, but don’t worry because they are much more durable than you think!
In addition, once the growing process starts, they do not need any protection since late spring frosts will not harm the plants!
Where to get the seeds?
Bachelor Buttons seeds are very common, widespread, and cheap and you can probably purchase them in most well-equipped garden centers. They usually cost around $3 – $10, making it a very low-budget investment for all new frugal plant lovers.
Considering that these plants self-seed, once you plant them in the garden, there is a high probability that they will sprout on their own, even in places you don’t want to!
Regularly remove overblown flowers before the seeds scatter on the ground or are blown away by the wind to prevent uncontrolled spreading.
You can leave a few flowers with seeds until spring and plant them as described above to provide the next generation of Bachelor button plants for your garden.
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