Cornflowers are a hardy annual that grows vigorously with little care. These bushy plants have narrow silver-green leaves and thin stems with fluffy blossoms.
The scientific name of the cornflower is Centaurea cyanus. Other common names are bachelor’s buttons, basket flowers and old-fashioned blue-bottles.
Cornflowers can grow 12 to 30 inches tall and spread up to 12 inches wide.
Cornflower blossoms grow 1 to 2 inches wide and bloom throughout the summer. Blooms are white, blue, purple, pink or red. Deadhead the dying blooms to prolong a cornflower’s blossoming season.
Cornflowers prefer full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. They like average-quality soil that drains well. They are drought-tolerant and can survive drying out when planted in containers.
Sow cornflowers in early spring. Plant them every two weeks until mid-summer to stagger blossoming time and extend the flowering season. Cornflowers are self-seeders, so leave a few blossoms at the end of summer to replant for next spring.