Common name: Corn Cockle
Agrostemma githago is formerly a cornfield weed that has now now become quite popular as a garden flower, particularly as part of a meadowland / wild garden feature.
It is a plant that can tolerate a range of soil types providing they are well drained.
It is drought tolerant so is suited to drier areas of the garden and containers.
The stiff stems topped with purple or white flowers will grow to a height of around 70-90cm (2½-3ft) and spread to around 30cms (1ft)
It flowers from late June to September, and makes a nice cut flower.
It is actually a short lived perennial, but when grown as a garden flower it is best treated as a biennial / hardy annual.
To prevent self seeding remove the flowering stems after flowering.
Note; the flowers and leaves are poisonous if eaten!
Sow seeds in pots/trays of seed compost and germinate at around 15°-18°C (60°- 65°F)
They should take around 7-10 day to germinate.
Mulch perennials with manure or compost.
Prick out into 50mm (2”) cells or 50mm (2”) apart in boxes/trays of potting compost and place in a frost free position until planting out time.
Basal cuttings 50-75mm (2”-3”) long, can he taken from perennials.
lnsert cuttings in a 50-50 (by volume) peat & sand mixture and place in a cold frame until planting out time the following May.
If growing as a perennial, sow seeds now in pots/trays of seed compost and place in a coldframe to germinate.
Or sow them directly into the soil in a nursery bed to thin out and transplant in the autumn or the following spring.
Plant out annual varieties 250-300mm (10”-12”) apart in sun or dappled shade.
Pot up perennial varieties into 70mm (3") pots and grow on in a coldframe until planting out time.
Plant out perennial varieties.
In exposed areas, it is advisable to support plants with twiggy sticks or similar.
Dead head plants or remove flowering stems regularly to prevent self seeding.
Cut any remaining dead stems to ground level in late autumn.