Quick Plant Care Guides: Bachelor Buttons
About Bachelor's Buttons
Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus) offer gardeners a delightful way to add color and movement to their landscapes. Quick to bloom from seed, this annual can be enjoyed by gardeners all over the hardiness zone map.
Bachelor’s buttons attract butterflies, honeybees, birds and other beneficial creatures to the garden.
The leaves, stems and blossoms make a lightly flavored tea that contains antioxidants. Due to its light taste, bachelor’s button tea mixes well with other herbal teas.
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How to Grow Bachelor's Buttons
Till the ground in a sunny area. Dig several inches of well-rotted compost into the soil. Water the area thoroughly.
Scatter the bachelor’s buttons seeds evenly across the soils’ surface.
Use a rake to lightly bury the seeds into the soil. They should be planted about ¼ of an inch deep.
Water the area deeply to settle the seeds. Be careful not to wash them away with a strong jet of water.
As the plants grow, add several thin layers of well-rotted compost around them. Use compost, not mulch. The goal is to provide the plants with mulch that their future seeds can grow in.
When the seedlings are several inches high, cut them back until only a couple true sets of leaves remain. This encourages branching and more blossoms.
If you want more plants next year, allow the bachelor’s buttons to go to seed at the end of the growing season. Seeds can be harvested and stored, or allowed to overwinter naturally in the ground.
Mixed colors of bachelor’s buttons will eventually revert to blue. Prevent this by culling as many blue-blossomed plants as possible. Cull the before they have a chance to pollinate their neighboring plants.