Centaurea nigra (Common Knapweed) seeds
Lovely British native perennial wildflower with fluffy pink, occasionally white, flowers on tall stems up to 90cm from June to September. Commonly found in meadows, pastures, on verges and woodland edges. Loved by bees, butterflies and other insects with the added bonus of the seedheads attracting goldfinches and other birds in autumn. Very easy to grow.
Flowers: June to September
Position: Sun or semi shade in well drained soil
Packet of 100 seeds
RHS Plants for Pollinators.
The RHS Plants for Pollinators mark is only given to plants that support pollinating insects. Find out more at rhs.org.uk/plantsforpollinators
Seeds can be sown outdoors where they are to flower during spring or autumn, or indoors at any time.
Sow on the surface of moist, free-draining seed compost in pots or seed trays and just cover with a very thin sprinkling of compost. Propagate at 15 to 20 C in a propagator or on a windowsill shaded from direct sun. Germination should begin within about 3 weeks but can sometimes be slow and erratic so patience might be needed!
When the seedlings emerge, grow them on at a slightly cooler temperature and pot them up when they have their second set of leaves into 9cm pots.
Harden the plants off by placing them outdoors during the day for 10 days before planting out after the last frosts.
Prepare bare soil or bare patches in grass by digging out weeds/grass and raking over. Water well, leave for a few weeks and dig out any new weeds/grass. Scatter seeds on the surface and press lightly into soil. Water with a fine spray/mist. Remove any obvious weeds as they appear and keep area well watered in dry weather.
Cut down plants in autumn after they have set seed and remove any weeds. Rake over any bare patches and firm the soil. New plants will emerge in spring.