English wallflowers, relatives of mustard, are perennials in mild winter areas. But they are most often grown for cool season display. Sweetly fragrant, they're grown by the millions in England.
Description of English wallflower: Wallflowers grow from 1 to 21/2 feet tall. Many-branched, they're topped by showy terminal spikes in many colors -- ranging from creamy white through yellows, oranges, tans and browns, to chestnut red. Some varieties are double.
Growing English wallflower: Wallflowers do best in average, moist soil in sun or partial shade in areas where the nighttime summer temperatures are below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Space 12 to 15 inches apart. Elsewhere they are best for cool season display in spring or fall. They winter over in Zones 8, 9, and 10.
Propagating English wallflower: By seed. When grown as annuals, sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost is expected. Germination takes 5 to 7 days at 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When transplanting to individual pots, pinch out the tip of the tap root to encourage a bushy root system. Sow seeds in July or August so that plants can winter over for the earliest spring flowering.
Uses for English wallflower: Plant wallflowers in rock gardens, beds, and borders. They are also pleasant by sidewalks and doorsteps. Wallflowers will bloom all winter in a cool room in sunlight. They make good cut flowers, too.
English wallflower related species: Erysimum hieraciifolium (Cheiranthus allioni) is the closely related Siberian wallflower. There are a number of varieties, including Early Wonder Mixed Colors.
English wallflower related varieties: Separate, named varieties include: Blood Red, Cloth of Gold, Eastern Queen (salmon-red), White Dame, and Fire King (orange-scarlet). Available mixtures are: Bedding Mixed, growing up to 18 inches and Double Dwarf Mixed, staying below 15 inches.
English wallflower: Cheiranthus cheiri
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