Bachelor’s button, also known as cornflower because of its prevalence in cornfields in its native Europe, is a cutting garden and cottage garden favorite. Grown for its bright blue, fringed flowers, the stems last for days in a cut flower arrangement. As a rugged reseeding annual, bachelor’s button will pop up year after year without needing much help from you.
In addition to blue, bachelor's buttons come in many shades of pink, purple, white, and almost black. Along with showy blooms, this plant also has appealing silvery-green foliage that mixes well with other plants, including grasses and wildflowers. Outside of the garden, bachelor's buttons are an edible flower. The blossoms add a dash of color to salads and can be dried and used in tea blends. As with all edible plants, make sure your bachelor's buttons come from a pesticide-free source before eating.
Related: Stunning Edible Flower Recipes
Bachelor's Button Care Must-Knows
Bachelor's buttons are one of the easiest plants to grow from seed. While their ideal soil conditions are a sandy loam, these plants tolerant poor soil conditions. Well-drained soil will keep bachelor's buttons thriving. Avoid wet soil; bachelor's buttons are prone to rot if roots get too wet.
Growing bachelor's buttons can be as simple as throwing a handful of seeds onto some freshly turned soil. Given their almost weedy nature, it's easy to see how these plants grow in so many gardens. Once established, expect bachelor's buttons to sprout in the same spot year after year. Bachelor's buttons produce copious amounts of seeds that attract small birds such as finches.
For the best growing conditions, choose an area in full sun. For a dramatic display of flowers, plant closely together to keep plants upright and rigid and to prevent them from becoming too leggy. Bachelor's buttons bloom from early summer to just before frost. If you are worried about the possibility of bachelor's buttons reseeding, prompt deadheading of spent blooms will help prevent any potential outbreak of seedlings. Just keep in mind that these are true annual plants; if you remove all the spent blooms, you will remove all future generations of flowers as well. Make sure to save some seeds for future use, but keep in mind that they are open-pollinated seeds: If you had a pure pink variety, the next round of blossoms may have some purple and blue in the mix.
Related: The Easiest Seeds to Start