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How to Grow and Care for Bachelor Buttons

Centaurea cyanus

Bachelor Buttons are also called Cornflower. Did you know, they are known by yet another name? They are also called the "Boutonniere" flower.  That's because the small, one inch flowers are perfect for button holes on suits. Years ago, they were the rage for boutonnieres.

The flowers are most commonly a bright blue. Other flower colors include: white, pink, lavender, red, maroon, and rose.

Bachelor Button flowers grow on sparse, thin stems. In addition to boutonnieres, they are also good in fresh flower arrangements or dried. They are frequent members of floral bouquets.

Bachelor buttons put on a nice display, when  grown in masses, and look great in cottage gardens..

Bachelor buttons attract butterflies.

Plant Height: up to 3 feet.

Plant Propagation:

Bachelor Button are grown from seed. Directly sow seeds into your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. If planting outdoors, sow Bachelor Button seeds early in the spring. For transplants sow them indoors about four weeks before the last frost. Bachelor Buttons can be sowed in the fall, especially in warmer areas. Fall plantings should be protected from extreme cold.

Days to Germination: 8 - 21

Flowers Bloom:  Spring to Summer

How to Grow and Care for Bachelor Buttons:

Gardening books will tell you that when growing Bachelor Buttons, they should be planted in full sun. But this gardener can tell you from experience, that they grow well on the north side of the house.

The plants will do well in average soils and tolerate dry soil conditions. Soil should drain well. Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.

Once your Bachelor Buttons are established, they will produce a burst of flowers, then slowdown their production. Flowers will continue at a slow, regular pace even after a light frost. While they are annuals, Bachelor Buttons are somewhat hardy.

Garden tip: Deadhead spent blooms to prolong the blooming period.

Insect and Disease:

Bachelor Buttons are somewhat resistant to insects and disease. They can get blights and mildew in wet weather. If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.

More Gardening Resources and  Information:

How to Grow Bachelor Button Plants


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