By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
Bachelor button flowers, often called cornflowers, are an old fashioned specimen you may recall from grandmother’s garden. In fact, bachelor buttons have adorned European and U.S. gardens for centuries. Bachelor button flowers grow well in a full sun location and care of bachelor button plants is minimal.
Bachelor Button Flowers
Bachelor buttons (Centaurea cyanus) offer many uses in the landscape, as this European native naturalizes easily in most parts of the U.S. Attractive flowers, now in shades of red, white and pink are available in addition to the traditional blue color of bachelor button flowers. Combine red, white and blue varieties for a patriotic display on the fourth of July. Plant bachelor button flowers in borders, rock gardens and sunny areas where they can spread and naturalize.
Frilly, showy flowers grow on multi-branching stems, which may reach two to three feet. Bachelor button flowers are reseeding annuals and blooms may be single or double. Once planted, you will be growing bachelor buttons year after year as the reseed freely.
How to Grow Bachelor Buttons
Growing bachelor buttons can be as simple as broadcasting or planting seeds outdoors in spring. Seeds may be started earlier inside and moved to the garden when frost danger has passed. Care of bachelor buttons plants requires watering to get them started and little else for continued bachelor buttons care. Once established, the flower is drought resistant and will self-seed for a continuing display in coming years.
Bachelor buttons care can include deadheading the plants to prevent prolific self-seeding. This can control next year’s spread of the cornflower. Weeding out sprigs growing in unwanted areas may also be included in bachelor buttons care and maintenance.
Growing bachelor buttons need a well drained soil, which may be poor and rocky or somewhat fertile. When growing bachelor buttons, take advantage of their indoor uses as cut or dried flowers.
Once the flower is cut, it offers a long-lasting display in cut flower arrangements. This specimen was often worn in lapels of the courting gentleman of days past, hence the common name bachelor button. After learning how to grow bachelor button, you will find many uses for the long-lasting flower.