Centaurea cyanus 'Black Ball'
- Position: full sun
- Soil: well-drained, preferably poor soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: May to July
- Flower colour: deep brownish red
- Other features: the flowers are attractive to butterflies and bees
- Hardiness: hardy annual
- Garden care: In early autumn surface-sow in trays of good seed compost and over-winter in a cold frame or greenhouse, thinning out and potting on as they grow. These can be planted out in spring and produce early flowers. Alternatively, shallow-sow directly into a well-prepared seedbed in spring, thinning out to 15cm. This plant will produce more flowers when grown in poor soils, so don’t over-fertilise. Pinching out the growing tips will encourage bushier growth.
- Sow: September-October or March-April
- Flowering: May-July
- Approximate quantity: 300 seeds.
Altogether charming, dark crimson flowers, which look almost black on cloudy days, sit on top of upright, branching stems, looking like miniature pom-poms. Ideally suited to wildflower meadows or naturalised planting schemes, the flowers will hold their colour well and will attract beneficial insects in their droves.
If you have redundant space in your heated greenhouse why not try sowing a few flowering annuals such as cornflowers, calendulas, godesia and nemesia for pots of colourful blooms next spring? Sow in trays of compost and prick out seedling when large enRead full article
Hardy annuals such as candytuft, California poppy and cornflowers sown direct last month into a prepared seedbed [link to making a seedbed] will need thinning to the correct spacing. Thin the flower seedlings when they are large enough to separate so theRead full article