Centaury Plant Info: Learn About Growing Centaury Plants

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

What is a centaury plant? Common centaury flower is a lovely little wildflower native to North Africa and Europe. It has become naturalized across much of the United States, especially in the western United States. Keep reading for more centaury plant info and see if this wildflower plant is for you.

Centaury Plant Description

Also known as mountain pink, common centaury flower is a low-growing annual that reaches heights of 6 to 12 inches. Centaury plant (Centaurium erythraea) consists of lance-shaped leaves on erect stems growing from small basal rosettes. Clusters of petite, five-petaled, summer-blooming flowers are pinkish-lavender with prominent salmon-yellow stamens. Flowers close at midday on sunny days.

This hardy mountain wildflower is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 1 through 9. Keep in mind, however, that this non-native plant can be rambunctious and may become aggressive in some areas.

Growing Centaury Plants

Centaury flower plants perform best in partial shade and light, sandy, well-drained soil. Avoid rich, wet soil.

Centaury plants are easy to grow by planting seeds after all danger of frost has passed in spring. In warm climates, seeds can be planted in fall or early spring. Just sprinkle the seeds on the surface of prepared soil, then cover the seeds very lightly.

Watch for seeds to germinate within nine weeks, then thin the seedlings to a distance of 8 to 12 inches to prevent overcrowding and disease.

Keep the soil lightly moist, but never soggy, until the plants are established. Thereafter, centaury flower plants require little care. Water deeply when the soil is dry, but never allow the soil to remain soggy. Remove flowers as soon as they wilt to control unrestrained reseeding.

And that’s it! As you can see, growing centaury plants is easy and the blooms will add another level of beauty to the woodland or wildflower garden.

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