Cornflowers are one of the most wonderful and easy ways to add blue to your garden. As a matter of fact, their blue is so popular it’s a Crayon color! Many of us are familiar with the shade without even knowing what the actual flower looks like.

Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) are also known as Bachelor’s Button. They’re easy to grow as an annual in your garden, adding an interesting texture with their ruffly bright blue petals. They also look great with other low-maintenance flowers like marigolds, nasturtiums, and poppies.

How to Grow

These flowers can be planted directly in your garden in the spring.

Here’s how to make them grow well.

1. Pick a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Make sure that the spot you’ll be planting them in has soft soil and no weeds. As the seeds sprout, they’ll be a bit delicate, so give them the best start by helping their little roots and stems spread out easily.
2. Water the soil before you plant if it’s dry. You want it to be moist, but not standing in water.
3. Add the seeds to the soil. You’ll want to place the seeds about .5 inches or 12mm deep, and each row of seeds should be at least 12 inches or 30 cm apart.
4. Cover the seeds with soil.
5. You might wish to label your cornflowers with a plant tag, so you’ll know where they’ll be sprouting. You should start seeing sprouts in a week or two. You can thin the bigger seedlings out as they grow.

Your cornflowers will bloom all summer long. Keep them watered well, and you’ll have lots of brilliant blue blossoms to enjoy.

Additional Tips

Cornflowers have some great qualities!

• They attract beneficial insects such as butterflies and bees, who love their color and nectar. Watch to see what types of visitors you get to your blooms.
They’re also edible! That’s right, you can add the blossoms to salads, use them to garnish baked goods, or for any type of food decoration.
• They’re also a great cut flower. Their long stems make them perfect for loose bouquets, and their color is a great accent in all sorts of flower arrangements. The stems last a long time. 
• They’re also perfect for use as a boutonniere – that’s how they got their other name of “Bachelor’s Button”! You can snip a bloom off and tuck it into a jacket lapel, hatband, hair, or pocket for a quick and lovely accessory.
• The seeds of cornflowers are popular with birds like Goldfinches, but you can save some and keep them in a cool, dry space over the winter. In spring, you’ll be ready to grow them again, and even share some with friends.

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