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Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) - Hardy Annual

The Cornflower is the national flower of Germany and Estonia. In France, it is a symbol of Armistice Day playing a similar role to the Poppy in the UK.


Common name: Batchelor's Button, Bluebottle

When to sow: Early Autumn (Sep) or Early-late Spring (Mar-Apr)

When to plant out: From early Spring

Flowering time: Late Spring (if Autumn sown) - Early Summer

Pinch out?: Yes, when 15 cm / 6" tall

Conditions: Full Sun, Poor soil

Feeding? No

Height: 60-90 cm / 24-36"

Support?: Yes

When to pick: When colour first starts to show on bud

Recommended varieties: Black Ball, Blue Boy

Flower meaning: Wealth, prosperity, fortune, friendship

Vase life: 5 days

Conditioning: Not needed

Good for: Adding a naturalistic meadow feeling to a vase, wedding button holes and drying



2 thoughts on “Cornflowers

  1. Gilly

    Hi, I have a nasty feeling I shouldn't have been feeding my container grown cornflowers (with trailing geraniums etc) as I haven't had any flowers- just lush foliage.
    What a disappointment !
    Am I correct?
    Thanks in anticipation

    1. homeflower

      Hi Gilly,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you're right. The cornflowers won't need the plant food and will just produce foliage rather than flowers. The geraniums will have appreciated it though!

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