In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a “wallflower” alluded to people who stayed at the sidelines, never drawing attention to themselves. It’s an apt description. Wallflowers, especially those growing on garden borders, hardly stand out among other, showy flowers. Without them, however, the entire space would lack a burst of life and color.
That’s one “perk” of growing wallflowers. They’re small and unobtrusive most of the time, but once they bloom, they set the garden beds on fire with a burst of orange and yellow hues. Some varieties provide a touch of pink, purple, and blue. Their fragrance is lovely and sweet.
The Perks of Growing Wallflowers: Cultivating Pretty, Tough Plants
Wallflowers are pretty tough. In fact, they can survive growing on cold walls (hence the name). But special care is necessary to bring out the best in them. PolyStone Planters™ shares these tips.
Over 180 species of wallflowers adorn gardens, forests, and even chinks in walls. They’re either biennial (lasts for two years) or perennial (survives for many growing seasons), reaching about 70 cm and bearing fragrant clusters of flowers.
Before you buy seeds or plugs, you have to create an environment that’s conducive to their growth.
- Adequate Sunlight – Wallflowers love the sun, so place them in a warm, sunny location. In northern climates, place them where they could get the most amount of light. In southern climates, where the sun shines a bit warmer, wallflowers would need some afternoon shade.
- Well-Drained Soil – These plants thrive in well-drained soil, which is why they can be found growing between rocks and bricks. They also grow best on low to moderately fertile soil with a pH of between 7.0 and 9.0. They’re perfect for garden borders, raised beds, and custom garden planters.
- The Right Time – Biennial plants grown from seeds should be sown in June, while plug plants should be sown from late August to mid-September. By autumn, you’ll have plants that are ready to be bedded out, and by spring, you’ll have a lovely garden display.
Planting the Flowers
There are two ways to plant wallflowers: seeds and plugs. When growing wallflowers from seeds:
- You can either sow them on the garden bed or in a planter. Dig the soil over thoroughly and mix in a substantial amount of organic matter.
- Press the seeds lightly into the ground, at a depth of half an inch. Make sure the holes are 8 inches apart. Cover them with fine soil, perlite, or vermiculite.
- Water the soil generously. Germination can take around 15-30 days.
When growing wallflowers from plugs:
- Place them in garden beds or planters. Make sure the soil is loose, well-drained, and contains a lot of organic matter.
- Use a trowel to dig individual holes 15 cm apart. Each hole should be deep enough to conceal the root ball while keeping the base of the stem at soil level.
- Place the plant in each hole and fill it in with soil. Water the soil generously.
Here are some ways to keep your wallflowers healthy:
- Watering – Water them weekly with 2 inches of water during the first year of growth. In the spring, summer, and fall of its second year, water the plants up to 1 to 2 inches. Come winter, water them once a month.
- Deadheading – Remove the dead flowers from the plants to encourage new growth and increase the wallflowers’ lifespan. If the plant has a lot of spent flowers, shear the stems by one-third of its length. When watering the plants, check for branches and stems that look damaged, diseased, or dead. Trim them immediately to leave only healthy tissue behind.
- Pruning – If you’re growing a perennial, prune it after the initial bloom. This makes the plant grow bushy and produce more flowers. If you don’t prune them immediately, they become woody and leggy.
When cared for properly, wallflowers make your garden more colorful and lively. And you’ll soon find out that they’re too beautiful to grow only along walls. Contact us to get custom garden planters for your wallflowers today.