"This old-time favorite is enjoying renewed popularity thanks to the trends in wild and cottage gardens. The long lasting perky fringed flowers in blue, rose, lavender and white borne atop thin wiry stems make wonderful additions to cut flower arrangements. To keep these short-lived charmers blooming start the season with transplants and then sow attritional seeds in the garden every couple of weeks through summer."
Written by Nancy Szerlag in her Annuals For Michigan by Lone Pine Press.
Choices of Bachelor Buttons
Bachelor Button choices recommended by Nancy Szerlag in her Annuals For Michigan by Lone Pine Press.
C. cyanus is an upright annual that grows 12–36" tall and spreads 6–24". The flowers of this plant are most often blue but can be in shades of red, pink, violet or white.
Plants in the ‘Boy’ series grow up to 39" tall and have large, double flowers in many colors.
‘Florence’ is a compact, dwarf cultivar that grows 12–18" tall and has flowers in various colors.
'Polka Dot' bears flowers in shades of blue, purple, red, pink and white on plants that grow about 18" tall.
Caring For Bachelor Buttons
The care information provided in this section represents the kind of practical advice is available for all the plants in this web site if you subscribe to the monthly customized newsletter Yardener’s Advisor.
Growing Cornflower: Cornflower is adaptable to many soils and conditions. It is an annual that grows 1 - 2 feet tall.
|Care for Bachelor Buttons|
|March||Bachelor Buttons are easy to grow from seed, either indoors under lights or outdoors in the garden. If direct seeding is your choice for Bachelor Button, sow indoors about 6 weeks before last frost, or sow seeds directly into the garden bed after all danger of spring frost is past, about the same time as lilac leaves first begin to emerge from the bud scales which enclose them. Soak seeds overnight to get best germination. See Starting Plants From Seed and see Seed Starting Supplies and Equipment.|
|April||Plant Bachelor Button seedlings purchased at the garden center or nursery, or those you've started indoors, as soon as danger of frost is past and the soil is warm (when night time temperatures stay above 50 degrees). See Yardener’s Helper re: hardening off seedlings before planting outside. Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart depending on expected height of the variety you are planting.|
|May||If Bachelor Buttons are growing in good soil containing lots of organic material, they want only a light feeding in the spring when the seedlings are set out, about a half a tablespoon of slow-release granular fertilizer per plant. In poor soils use a bit more; one tablespoon of slow-release granular fertilizer per plant. That is all you need for the season. See Choosing Fertilizers in Yardener’s Tool Shed.|
|Bachelor Buttons grow best when mulched. As soon as the Bachelor Button seedlings are tall enough, spread a 2 or 3 inch layer of some organic material such as chopped leaves, dried grass or wood chips on the soil around the plants. For more information see the file on Using Mulch|
|June||Optional – Your Bachelor Buttons will appreciate, in preparation for the heat of summer, a light feeding of fertilizer using a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength according to the label. This can be poured into the soil or sprayed right on to the plant. See Choosing Fertilizers in Yardener’s Tool Shed.|
|September||This plant dries readily to give you color in winter bouquets. You can harvest the entire plant before the first heavy frost. Strip the leaves and hang upside down in a well-ventilated location to dry. See Drying Flowers and Flower Drying Supplies.|
|Otherwise, your plants will die with the first hard frost. Remove them to the compost pile but keep the beds mulched right through the winter, ready for next year’s plants.|