BLUE PERENNIAL CORNFLOWER
Centaurea montana has beautiful cornflower blue pinwheel blooms, with feathery edges and intense violet centres.
And these beautiful blooms beam up at you from spring through early summer, above grey-silver velvety leaves.
Each pinwheel flower is 7.5cm (3in) across.
So it is a spectacular and valuable performance from such an easy and neat plant.
Centaurea montana is a perfect edging plant, or under-planting between taller plants or rose bushes.
It is neatly polite, forming a dense silver-grey carpet of attractive leaves all year round.
But then when it blooms, it is an elegant eye-catcher.
And it is never invasive.
So I use it as a silver and blue edge for a path amongst apricot roses.
Centaurea montana, Blue Perennial Cornflower, also makes a pretty feature in a pot year round.
Centaurea montana is an unfussy, easy to grow, and frost hardy and evergreen perennial.
Happily it requires little to no maintenance once established, other than to trim of the spent flower stems at the end of blooming.
Centaurea montana prefers a little shade and dappled sunlight, or shade for part of the day, particularly in hot areas.
However it will also thrive in full sun where the soil is retentive, or the district cooler.
So it prefers deciduous shade rather than evergreen shade, where it can enjoy the sun during the cooler months when the overhead canopy has fallen.
This beauty can tolerate drought but cannot tolerate waterlogged conditions.
SEED SOWING ADVICE:
Sow spring and early summer, late summer and early autumn in seed trays or pots.
Moisten the mix and let it drain.
Cover the seeds with a 1cm layer of soil as Centaureas need darkness to germinate.
You can also place a cardboard or black plastic cover over punnet until seeds begin emerging.
Place in a warm location.
Temperature of 16 to 22°C is optimum.
Germination takes 3 to 4 weeks.
After germination place in a sunny spot to grow on.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Size- H: 40cm W: 30cm approx.
Position- Full Sun, Partial Shade
Seed Count- 10 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count, and give a generous serve).