Cornflower, also known as Centaura, is especially appreciated for the elegance of its blue, purple flowers. Let’s see how to cultivate and sow this plant.
Cornflower is a perennial herbaceous plant native to North Europe, America and Asia. The scientific name is Centaurea cyanus and belongs to the Asteraceae family.
Cornflower is a truly elegant plant, with an erect stem and elongated leaves of a greenish/greyish color. The most striking are its flowers that grow at the ends of the stems, the corolla with an elegant posture is commonly a blue-violet color, but there are also other shades. Some species, in fact, have white, pink, red and yellow colors. The height varies from 20 to 90 cm.
It is a typical plant of the temperate zones, in fact, where the climate is favorable, the Cornflower grows spontaneously everywhere; in the fields, at the roadsides and in the meadows. For this reason it is also called, field flower.
In addition to being elegant, the centaur is also appreciated for the way in which it can adapt to colder temperatures than those it loves. It is a plant that can be grown in our country both in pots and in the garden. Let’s see how to sow the Cornflower and take care of it.
How And When To Sow
Cornflower seeds can be purchased online, or they can be recovered from our plants. At the end of the summer, around September – October, we could get the seeds from the inside of the ovules of the dried flowers, making them come out. Sowing them will be simple and will give life to new plants ready to color our green spaces.
The sowing of the centaur or cornflower is preferable to do it outdoors, during the spring and when the risk of night frost is now averted. It is mostly recommended to sow it directly in pots, or in the space of the garden where we want to grow our plants. The Cornflower does not like transplanting, which could disturb its growth.
We only have to work the soil a little, moving the substratum. If possible, place shards or gravel on the bottom to make the water flow better. Finally, add a good soft soil to the soil for sowing. Mix, compact and sow. Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil. Water.
Take Care of the Cornflower
The cornflower seedlings will grow quickly. During the growing season, i.e. from April to the end of May, Cornflower requires constant irrigation. Water 3 or 4 times a week.
Increase the frequency in summer.
Always test the soil with a finger watering it every time we find it dry. It will be important to avoid that the soil remains dry for too long, but in the same way, avoid water stagnation and always moist soils, which can be the cause of fungal diseases. Even if the Cornflower is a robust plant, in case of strong humidity it is subject to attacks of Oidium.
We should place our plants in places mostly sunny for at least 5-6 hours a day, maybe sheltered from the sun during the hottest hours of the summer days.
The Cornflower is able to give us wonderful and multiple blooms, from June to October. To stimulate this, it will be important to remove the dried flowers from the plant.
It is a strong herbaceous plant, which with a favorable climate can survive even in winter. In places where the winter climate is very cold and windy, it will be better to protect it.
The Cornflower or centaur, however, can be grown as an annual. From September to October we could recover the completely dried flowers on the plant and extract the seeds, making a slight pressure on the ovule of the flower. In this way we could multiply each year, in spring, the plants of Cornflower.