Bachelor's buttons

Centaurea cyanus

Photo/Illustration: 
Rick Mark
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Bachelor's buttons (Centaurea cyanus)
sen-TOR-ee-ah sy-AN-us
Genus:  Centaurea
Bachelor's buttons bear charming and prolific flowers in hues of blue, pink, lavender, white, and maroon. Those with a true blue color are especially welcome in the garden as that color is rare in nature. Each disc-shaped flower is about 1.5 inches across, with ragged petals radiating out from the center.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Bachelor's buttons flower from late June through August if deadheaded. They are excellent for cutting and drying.
Care:  Taller varieties tend to flop once they reach 2.5 to 3 feet, so they may require staking. The plants will flower abundantly in well-drained, ordinary garden soil. Although they tolerate dry conditions, they need plenty of water in hot, dry weather to ensure continued blooming. Bachelor's buttons can be grown in containers for winter flowering.
Propagation:  Easy from seed, which can be scattered in the garden in early spring. Self-sower.
Problems:  White mold, rust, downy and powdery mildew, thread blight, and Southern blight can occur.

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
6 in. to 12 in.
Growth Pace
Fast Grower,
Invasive/Aggressive Grower
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Self Seeds,
Showy Flowers
Bloom Time
Early Summer,
Late Spring,
Spring,
Summer
Flower Color
Blue Flower,
Pink Flower,
White Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container,
Cut Flower,
Dried Flower,
Naturalizing,
Suitable as Annual
Style
Cottage Garden,
Meadow Garden,
Rock Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Annuals

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