Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)- Cornflower Facts and Information

Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, also known as Bachelor button is well known for its cornflower blue flowers. Find facts and info on how to grow and care for cornflowers.


Cornflower (bachelor buttons)

Cornflowers are excellent to cut fresh or as dried flowers. They are fast growing annuals with an upright growth habit. Cornflower plants require full sun. Centaurea cyanus varieties are used in borders, containers, and for naturalizing. Many varieties can be found in cornflower blue, white, and pinks.

Centaurea cyanus varieties like moderately fertile soil and full sun. The 1” blooms appear from late spring to midsummer. Plants are prolific self-seeders, so informal areas, especially cottage gardens, are ideal sites. Mass plants in the mixed border for early season color. Cornflower blooms are excellent cut flowers. Companions include ‘Strawberry Fields’ globe amaranth, ‘The Fairy’ rose, and ‘Horizon Red Halo’ petunia.

Cornflower Care

Plants 6”apart in spring after the last frost. Apply slow-release plant food, such as Miracle Gro, at the time of planting or begin using water soluble plant food, 3 weeks after planting in spring. Follow label directions for the amount and frequency. Cornflower is relatively drought tolerant, so let the soil dry between waterings. Apply 3” of vegetative mulch to help retain soil moisture and as it decomposes it will add organic matter to the soil. If seedlings are not  desired, deadhead blooms early on. Remove plants after or right after the first frost. Cover the bare soil with 3” of mulch to protect the topsoil over the winter.

"Bachelor Button"

C. montana alba

Propagation of Cornflowers

Corn flower is easy to direct seed into the garden. Sprinkle seeds over the soil mix and lightly cover. Thoroughly moisten and keep moist, not soggy, until seeds germinate. Germination occurs in 7-14 days at 65-70 degrees. Transplant 20-25 days after sowing, and reduce the temperature to 50-55 degrees.

Pests and Diseases include downy and powdery mildew, crown rot, and rusts.

Related Species: Perennial ( Zones 3-8) mountain bluet (C. montana), has blue flowers on plants 18-24” tall, while C. montana alba has white flowers.

*You will find related posts with other plants that produce beautiful blue flowers.

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