They have a sweet but spicy fragrance, and make an excellent cut flower. Pollinators such as bumblebees benefit from the pollen and nectar they provide early in the year.
Bare root wallflowers are cheap to buy and are usually planted in autumn, often alongside spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips. They are hardy enough to cope with winter frosts, and they’ll establish and flower more quickly than those planted in spring.
Bare-root wallflowers Hand fork or trowel Soak roots in water for at least an hour before planting them out in borders or containers.
Plant them closely together for maximum impact, bearing in mind that they will become bushier as they develop. Interplant wallflowers with tulips or other spring bulbs, for a fantastic show in April.
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Wallflowers (Elysium), are commonly grown as a spring bedding plant. They flower the following March, offering a splash of color when there’s little else in bloom.
Perennial wallflowers are also available, and have become increasingly popular in recent years. Varieties such as ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ and ‘Winter Orchid’ flower almost continually throughout the year, making them great value in small gardens.
Perennial wallflowers are a great source of nectar, so can provide a reliable source of food for pollinators over a long season. Grow wallflowers in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.
Sow biennial wallflowers annually in late spring and plant them out in autumn. Cut back periodically to maintain a good shape and promote flowering.
Take cuttings regularly to ward against losses. Wallflowers do best in moist but well-drained soils, in a sunny location.
They’ll tolerate partial shade. Bedding (biennial) wallflowers work well when planted with spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils, and can also be grown in pots.
Perennial wallflowers are best planted towards the front of a mixed ornamental border. Wallflowers with well with a number of other spring-flowering plants, including daffodils.
Perennial varieties are best grown from young plants. It’s a good idea to add a handful of grit to the planting hole to aid drainage.
Find out how to plant bedding wallflowers in autumn, in these Gardeners’ World clip with Monty Don: Perennial wallflowers are sterile and therefore won’t set seed, but they’re very easy to propagate from cuttings.
Find out how to grow wallflowers from seed, in these Gardeners’ World clip with Monty Don: Trim flower stalks as they fade.
Perennial wallflowers cope well with cold weather and short bouts of frost. However, they don’t cope well with wet and windy winters, so make sure the soil is well drained and protect from wind.
Wallflowers are part of the brassier family and therefore can be prone to club root and other diseases that affect this family of plants. Downy mildew, leaf blight and flea beetles can cause problems; and beware slug and snail damage to young plants.
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Sow seeds ¼ inch deep and keep cool at 60 °F (15.6 °C) until germination in 5 to 7 days. Sow seeds outdoors in smoothly prepared and fertilized beds in late summer where winter temperatures do not drop below 20 °F (-6.7 °C).
Where winter temperatures drop below 20 °F (-6.7 °C), sow seeds outdoors in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked or in a cold frame in late summer. Wallflower or Elysium chart flowers blooming in a garden Thin outdoor-grown seedlings to their permanent spacing when they are 6 inches (15 cm) tall.
Mulch around growing plants with aged compost or chopped leaves to conserve soil moisture. Protect Elysium in winter by placing evergreen boughs or chopped leaves over the top of perennials that have died back.
Club roots is a disease that can be avoided by not planting Elysium in the same place two years in a row and raising the soil pH to 7.5. Perennial; massed erect stems with narrow gray-green leaves; grows 3 to 6 feet (.0-1.8 m) tall; stems are topped by 18-inch (45 cm) long, narrow, spikelike clusters of mauve flowers; best where summer are cool and winters are mild; may be short-lived.
Perennial often grown as a biennial or annual; best suited for cool, moist regions; grow to 24 inches (61 cm) tall with narrow bright green leaves; a broad cluster of showy sweet-scented blooms; flower colors include yellow, cream, orange, red, brown, or burgundy, sometimes shaded with contrasting colors. Biennial or perennial often treated as an annual; narrow-leafed plant to 18 inches (45 cm) tall; fragrant, rich orange flowers in spring; cultivar ‘Moonlight’ has bright yellow flowers that open from red buds.
Perennial often treated as an annual in warm climates; light green leaves in mats to 6 inches (15 cm) tall; scented, deep yellow flowers on 2-inch (5 cm) stems bloom in spring; a good choice for rock gardens. English wallflower (Elysium chart) is a sun-loving, colorful perennial and bedding plant that grows 18 to 20 inches tall.
Work the compost into the garden bed, turning over the soil and mixing it at the same time about 8 to 12 inches deep. In mild coastal areas and Mediterranean climates, you can plant English wallflower seeds in fall, winter or early spring by sowing them directly into the prepared garden bed.
English wallflower seeds need shallow planting, about 1/4 inch deep in the soil, to germinate effectively. After planting, give the garden bed a thorough soaking, then follow up with additional water if the natural rainfall doesn't keep the soil damp.
When removing the plants from the nursery pot, handle them carefully by the root ball rather than the delicate stem. Plant English wallflowers the same depth in the soil they were in the nursery containers, then backfill the area around the roots.