Filled with old-fashioned charm, wallflowers (Cheiranthus) are a staple of the spring garden. Wallflowers come in a wide range of colours, and many are fragrant. They complement pansies nicely, and planting the two together will fill your garden with bright colour and early-spring interest.
Wallflowers grow best in full sun, although they can tolerate afternoon shade in the hottest areas. The plants will slow or stop flowering in high temperatures. Add compost or organic matter to provide rich, fertile soil. Rake the soil smooth, with no large clumps, rocks or weeds. Wallflowers require good drainage, so do not plant them in a damp spot.
Wallflower seeds are large, making them easy to handle. Sow the seeds in the fall for spring blossoms. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of soil; do not bury them deeply. Germination will occur in 14 to 28 days. Keep the soil moist, but not muddy. When seedlings are between 2 and 3 inches tall, thin them to 9 inches apart.
Wallflowers are easy to care for. Water them throughout the growing season; do not allow the soil to dry out. Feed the plants with an all-purpose fertiliser to encourage blooms and general health. Control weeds. Deadhead spent blossoms to encourage more flower production.
Pinch off the tips of plants before they produce buds to encourage bushier growth.
Tips and warnings
- Pinch off the tips of plants before they produce buds to encourage bushier growth.