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 the fall where winters are mild.


Fast growth is encouraged by mixing a balanced organic fertilizer 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: 7" (20cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 7" (20cm) with 7" (20cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow cornflowers from early to mid spring for early summer bloom. Also sow in fall in climates with mild winters. Plant seeds in soil or in containers about 2 inches (5 cm) apart and one-half inch (1 cm) deep. Thin to 8 inches (20 cm) apart in all directions.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


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.


Cornflowers may be nibbled by rabbits, especially in early spring when other food is scarce.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Cornflower