Cornflower Growing Guide

Centaurea cyanus


Crop Rotation Group



Any good garden soil.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

Young cornflower seedlings can tolerate freezing temperatures, so seeds can be planted in early spring, or in autumn where winters are mild.


Fast growth is encouraged by mixing a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil before planting.


Cornflowers have an upright posture that helps them fit in tight spaces. Intersperse throughout the garden, as cornflower nectar is unusually sweet, and thus a preferred food source for many beneficial insects.


Single Plants: 20cm (7") each way (minimum)
Rows: 20cm (7") with 20cm (7") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow cornflowers from early to mid spring for early summer bloom. Also sow in autumn in climates with mild winters. Plant seeds in soil or in containers about 5 cm apart and 1 cm deep. Thin to 20 cm apart in all directions.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Flowers are edible. Rice-size cornflower seeds are much loved by goldfinches and other small seed-eating birds.


Cornflowers make good cut flowers. Pull up the plants in mid to late summer, when they no longer look attractive.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Cornflower