How To Grow - Wallflowers

Wallflowers (or Erysimum) bring dazzling colour and fabulous scent to your garden in the spring. Wallflowers are one of the most reliable winter bedding plants and are happy wherever they’re planted. They are hardy plants, surviving frosts and harsh winters with temperatures of minus ten. Here’s our handy guide for growing wallflowers in your garden.

Basics

Wallflowers were found growing naturally on sea cliffs and walls – cultivated varieties have become a sight and scent essential to the cottage garden. The flowers are fragrant, varying in colour between yellows, reds, oranges and pinks. They’ll grow to a height of between 20 and 40 cm. They are biennial plants which need to be grown freshly each year – however, this is not necessarily a fixed designation, and a bushy plant may become perennial, surviving over successive seasons.

When and where to plant

For autumn bedding – ensuring a display in the spring – plant out your plug plants from late August to mid September, depending on the size of the plants acquired. Grow on plants indoors until they reach 8 to 10 cm in height at which point they’re ready to plant out. The ground should be prepared before planting out. Dig it over thoroughly, and mix in plenty of organic matter – such as manure or leaf mould. The planting location should have good drainage and ideally the soil should be slightly alkaline.

How to plant

For planting in beds or borders, use a trowel to dig an individual hole for each plant deep enough to submerge the root ball while also keeping the base of the stem at soil level. Position the plant and fill the hole back in. Gently firm down and water in. Position plants 15 cm from each other.

Flowering

Different varieties flower at different times, from February to May or later from May to June. A Wallflower blossoms on all of its stalks. To encourage the plant to become more bushy, giving a more intense display of colour, pinch back the growing tips once the plant is established.

Plant care

Wallflowers are hardy and tough, though prolonged frost may weaken the plants. After a frosty night you may notice drooping leaves on your plants – particularly if it is subsequently windy. This is a reaction to the weather conditions and the plants will perk back up, remaining healthy. Longer term drooping or wilting may be due to diseased roots, in which case the plant should be removed, or to a bacterial infection on the leaves – check for any signs of this and remove affected plants.

Did you know

During the winter, lower leaves may yellow and drop – this is a part of adaptation to harsher winter conditions. Wallflowers are suitable for taking cuttings in the late spring – snip off a shoot around 5 cm long, ideally cutting at the point of a leaf node. Nip off flowers and buds on the shoot, and nip away all but three leaves. Dip into a rooting hormone and plant into a pot of compost.


Close Window
model popup