Common name: Cornflower

The annual species cyanus will grow to around 300mm (12") high with a similar spread.

Centaurea is an easy to grow daisy like flower.

Its soft to touch grey leaves, and blue, pink, red or white flowers make a useful addition to any cut flower arrangements.

In the border

Grow centaurea in any fertile, well-drained garden soil, in a sunny position.

The perennial montana or mountain cornflower as it is sometimes known, will grow to around 500-600mm (18"-24") high and spread to around 300-400mm(12"-15")

This species originates from the meadows and woodland in the mountainous areas of Europe.

In the border

The form grown in most gardens in the UK has greyish, lance-shaped leaves and large, deep blue or blue-violet flowers, up to 75mm (3") across which appear in early summer.

It does best in a moisture retentive soil and is equally at home in sun or partial shade.

Dead-heading is recommended for both species to prolong the flowering period.


Week 14:

Sow centaura seeds in pots or trays of seed compost and germinate 18°C (64°F)

Germination should take around four to five days.

Week 16:

When seedlings are large enough to handle prick out into pots/tray or boxes of potting compost and grow on in a cold frame until planting out time.

Week 21:

Plant out cyanus 300 (12") apart.

Week 40:

Plant out montana 300 (12") apart.

Established plants of montana can be divided and planted out at this time.

Alternatively leave this task till the following spring when soil conditions allow.

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