I am looking forward to having Bachelor Buttons bloom on the farm. These beauties fall into the category of light and airy and add texture and dimension to bouquets and arrangements. Easy to grow, they are a must for any garden.
As I learned more about cool flowers from Lisa Mason Ziegler's book Cool Flowers a few years ago, I knew that I wanted to grow Bachelor Buttons, also known as Cornflowers. I planted out seedlings the following fall and was pleasantly surprised that they overwintered well and were quick to bloom the following spring. I came to love the darker blooms (Almost Black) and found that they made a great addition to most color palettes for bouquets. Given how easy they were to sow and maintain, it's an easy decision to grow these flowers each year.
Care & Maintenance
I start Bachelor Buttons from seed indoors in late summer, early fall, late winter, and early spring. I start seeds in successions a few weeks apart in the fall and then in the winter/spring. Seeds are quick to sprout and grow. After hardening them off, I get the seedlings in the ground a few weeks after starting seeds. Make sure to water in seedlings well and to continue to fertilize young plants.
Bachelor Buttons are winter hardy to zone 6. I cover flowers with frost cloth during the winter to help protect them from wind, but frost cloth is not necessary in my zone 7.
When flowers finish blooming at the end of the season, I cut out the plant at the base instead of ripping the roots out of the ground. However, if the plant is left to self-seed, Bachelor Buttons do a great job of reseeding and sprouting new plants in the spring.
Harvest the bloom on the central stem first, a few inches off the ground, just above a few sets of leaves. This, essentially, pinches the plant and forces it to grow new shoots on either side of the cut. Continue to harvest regularly when the flowers are just beginning to open and show color. If you harvest regularly, the plant will continue to produce flowers.
Other things to consider
I am very interested in planting flowers that are going to reseed themselves year after year and that leave less work for me to do on the farm. Bachelor Buttons are a great candidate for this, as stated above. I have transplanted volunteer Bachelor Buttons from different beds, and they have done well and are thriving. My plan is to leave the Bachelor Buttons to reseed and establish themselves in their flower bed for next year.
This post is part of a year-long series on flowers and plants that we love and grow on the farm. Check out other flowers that we love.