Matthiola, also known as Queen Stock or gillyflower, is a favorite garden flower. Stock is a hardy annual or biennial, growing from 1 ½ to 2 ½ feet. The flowers come in shades of purple, magenta, yellow, peach and blue. The pleasing fragrance of these single and double flowers make them a popular cut flower. Queen stock seedlings must be protected from damping-off. Once grown, the flowers need protection from strong winds as well as viruses and pests.
Protect Queen stock seedlings from damping-off, which causes the seedlings to suddenly wilt and die. The pathogen is present in the soil. Sow the seeds in a clean seed tray with a lid and sterile potting soil or vermiculite
Keep the soil in the seed tray moist but not wet. Once the seeds have germinated, remove the lid and allow the soil to dry out a little between waterings.
Thin out Queen stock seedlings when they are large enough to handle. Space the seedlings 3 inches apart.
Protect Mature Plants
Stake the taller varieties of Queen stock. Use a plant support or a stake and twine.
Prevent Brampton stock from damage by the caterpillars of cabbageworm, also known as cabbage butterflies. These adult lays eggs on the leaves; once the larva hatches, they feed on the flowers. Spray the stock with permethrin or remove caterpillars.
Watch for symptoms of turnip mosaic virus. According to the Association of Plant Biologists, turnip mosaic virus, causes leaf distortion and a marbling effect on the leaves. Remove and destroy affected plants to prevent spreading the virus.
About this Author
After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.