Best Wallflower Plants

James Smith
• Wednesday, 30 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Wallflowers flower from early spring and can linger long after Midsummer’s Day and some forms are sweetly scented, too. Choose from our list of favorite Elysiums or wallflowers to suit your planting scheme.

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A robust wallflower cultivar with strong, woody stems and an upright habit. Spikes of light and dark mauve flowers that age to a paler lilac.

This wallflower was probably found in a garden owned by the Parrish family (close to bathe), it forms a large curtsying plant that billows over paths. This classic long-flowering mauve Elysium forms a tall, upright plant that stays erect.

The flowers of this Elysium are a spangled mixture of pink, brick red and dark orange. Another foot-high Elysium with vivid apricot flowers emerging from dark buds against dark-green foliage.

A new and unique wallflower cultivar with faded, pastel flowers in pink, gold and apricot. Looking mellow in sunlight, but the leggy, lax habit means this Elysium has to be cut back hard once flowering is waning.

One of the oldest wallflower cultivars, producing flowers over many weeks on a compact plant. The brick-pink Elysium flowers age to mauve above dark-green narrow leaves which have a wavy edge.

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This compact wallflower is a parent for many, including Elysium Walkerton’s Fragrant Sunshine (=‘Palfreys’). Like a brassier run to seed, this Aegean wallflower has provided the genetic injection of bright yellow in many named hybrids and cultivars.

Elysiums left to their own devices have a tendency to become woody and leggy and then fizzle out within four to five years, usually succumbing over winter. The way to extend the lifespan of wallflowers and keep them compact and vigorous is to give them a yearly midsummer trim by cutting into the foliage.

Trim under the node and plunge them into small seed trays filled with damp horticultural sand, or gritty compost. The name Characters is thought to derive from the Greek for hand (char) and flower (ant hos) and the heavily scented flowers were carried as nosegays to smother the stench of Elizabethan streets.

Their Latin name, Elysium, is said to be derived from Arno, meaning to draw up. However, wallflowers contain a cardio tonic glucoside known as cheiranthin or Charlton, which is a toxic substance.

He wrote about a tragic accident that occurred at Namath Castle on the banks of the River Tweed in Scotland. The Earl of March’s daughter, Elizabeth, had fallen in love with a young nobleman from a rival clan, Scott of Susheela.

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The handsome Scott disguised himself as a minstrel and serenaded her while they made plans to elope, but when the time came Elizabeth fell to her death, landing close to a sprig of wallflower growing along the tower’s wall. The broken-hearted Scott set off to wander through the land wearing a sprig of wallflower, and this flower still symbolizes faithful devotion.

‘Up she got upon a wall Tempting down to slide withal But the silken twist untied So she fell, and brews’d, she died.’ from How the wall-flower came first, and why so called, by Robert Herrick. Where to buy Hui House Nursery Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 7DA.

Special Plants Green ways Lane, Cold Ashton, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 8LA. Most wallflower plants are of the genus Elysium, with some types being from Characters, sometimes called Wildflower.

Wallflower plants have perky spring blooms, often in shades of yellow and orange. Newer cultivars of the wallflower garden plant come in shades of pinks, purples and blue; some varieties have chocolate or crimson blooms.

Perennial wallflower plants are grown as annuals in colder zones. But they retain evergreen foliage in USDA gardening zones 8-10, which may have a silvery tint.

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Wallflower care includes the pinching back of spent blooms. Now that you’ve learned how to plant a wallflower, give it a try in the garden.

You’ll find wallflowers are a simple, colorful and sweet-smelling addition to the garden. Most wallflowers are biennial and are grown from seed the previous spring, and then planted out in autumn for flowering early the following year.

Some wallflowers are perennial and flower every year from March to November. Elysium ‘Apricot Delight’ is a perennial wallflower, bearing masses of apricot-orange flowers on tall spires, for months on end.

Elysium ‘Golden Jubilee’ is a perennial alpine wallflower, bearing masses of pretty yellow flowers from spring into summer. It’s perfect for growing in a rockery or early spring border, along with Lucretia and campanile.

A perennial wallflower, Elysium ‘Walkerton’s Fragrant Sunshine’ bears bright yellow blooms from spring through to autumn. Narrow, dark-green foliage is offset by gently fragrant bright yellow-orange blooms, making a colorful statement in the spring garden.

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The glorious large, white, star-shaped flowers blushed with pink of this magnolia are a spectacular sight in March and April and signal the arrival of spring. Your garden will brim with color from March to October with this all season collection of clematis.

Make a New Year’s resolution to reduce your garden’s carbon footprint and become a better gardener at the same time in our latest Masterclass Online with host, David Harrison. They bloom nearly year-round, sporting beautiful four-petalled flowers in colors such as yellow, orange, red, blue, and purple.

Botanical Name Elysium Common Name Wallflower Plant Type Perennial, annual Mature Size 1 to 3 feet tall Sun Exposure Full sun, part sun Soil Type Sandy, well-drained Soil pH 7.0 to 9.0 Bloom Time Spring, summer, fall Flower Color Yellow, orange, purple, pink, blue Hardiness Zones 6, 7, 8, 9 Native Area Southern Europe Elysium 'Bowles's Mauve' Treasure / Getty Images Wallflowers (Elysium) are a part of the cabbage family, Brassicaceae, which makes them closely related to popular calciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, cabbage, and more. Gardeners in northern climates should choose locations that receive direct sun, whereas gardeners in southern climates should choose locations that receive some shade to give the wallflowers a break from the intense southern rays.

In fact, wallflowers got their name because they were often found growing in the silty mortar between rocks and bricks on the sides of walls. Planting wallflowers in soil that holds too much moisture will cause them to drown and die quickly.

For best results, mix compost into the soil when you are first planting and apply an all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring and mid-summer. Some wallflower species will reseed themselves, but most varieties will need to be manually re-sown (see “Growing from Seeds” below).

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For best results, dip the cutting in a rooting hormone before planting back in soil or compost. Prune them back so there is only a couple of inches left above the soil, and they will reward you with dense new growth once temperatures warm up again.

Wallflowers make excellent container plants as they are low-maintenance and don’t require too much water. Ensure your container has adequate drainage, so the wallflowers do not drown as they do not tolerate having their roots sit in water.

Pair wallflowers with plants such as daffodils and tulips in container gardens as they flower at the same time. Growing wallflowers in containers is great for gardeners in colder regions as they can easily be brought indoors for the winter.

As a part of the Brassicaceae family, wallflowers are susceptible to a host of common garden pests just like their vegetable cousins. However, wallflowers are better suited to dry growing conditions than their Brassicaceae relatives, which inadvertently helps to prevent pest infestations.

There are even varieties with color-changing blooms, which open bright yellow or orange and fade in shades of pink to a deep purple. These plants like well-drained soils so much that it's how they got their common name: Wallflowers could often be found growing out of the mortar between rocks and bricks on the side of the wall.

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They suit rock gardens, border fronts, raised beds, and containers. Place wallflowers in an area of the garden where they receive full sun in northern climates.

If you plan on growing them as a perennial, shear them back after initial bloom to promote dense bushy growth. 'Bowles Mauve' is a classic variety with gray-green leaves, pale purple flowers, and a pleasant fragrance.

Elysium 'Orange Bedder' bears bright clusters of orange flowers on compact, 1-foot-tall plants. Found with increasing frequency in garden centers, fascia is a snapdragonlike flower gaining popularity because you can plant it so early in the spring.

Plant snapdragons in early spring, a few weeks before your region's last frost date. Plant it in spring several weeks before your region's last frost date; this annual thrives in cool temperatures and stops blooming once hot weather arrives.

It's especially wonderful in window boxes and planters at nose level, where its sometimes subtle, spicy scent can best be appreciated. It makes a great cut flower, perfuming bouquets as well as the border.

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