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Cornflower / Centuarea
The cornflower or knapweed is a very popular and old hardy annual flowering plant. It is a florist's favourite and is frequently found in flower arrangements. Sprays of white, pink, blue, purple and red blossoms sit atop spindly narrow stems. The foliage is silver-grey.
Cornflowers display well in a garden bed on their own or as part of a cottage garden mix including marigolds and tall poppies.
In the past young me in love wore cornflowers and if the bloom faded quickly it was a sign that the love was unrequited.
Cultivation of Cornflower Plants
Cornflower seeds should be sown in early autumn for flowers in spring. Chooses a sunny site that has good drainage.
The plants should be thinned out to about 30cm apart from each other. Dwarf varieties should be thinned top 23cm apart from each other.
Tall varieties of cornflower usually require staking with narrow bamboos canes or twigs.
Deadheading will prolong the flowering season.
Cornflower Pests and Diseases
Cornflowers can be susceptible to rust and / or mildew on leaves and stems. The blooms may also be affected by petal blight.