About English Wallflower: Historians believe that the English Wallflower first arrived in England in the 11th century, brought by the Normans. Its common name comes from the plant’s affinity for nooks and crannies in walls or cliffs. It tends to spring up in the corners of castle ruins, roadsides, or any bit of rocky soil it can find near the sea. Records show that this plant once had many herbal and medical uses, as well as being used in perfume because of its fragrance. In the language of flowers, the wallflower also symbolizes disappointment in love.
English Wallflower Germination: For best results, direct sow in the fall for germination in the spring. Since this seed needs light to germinate, sow it on the surface of the soil and compact it lightly. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 30 days before direct sowing on the surface of the soil. This seed can also be started indoors, sown on the surface of a flat; keep the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees until germination, which should occur within 10-15 days. Transplant the seedlings 9-12” apart after the last spring frost. This plant prefers dry and poor soil, and may die if the soil is too rich.
Growing English Wallflower Seeds: Though seedlings need watering until they become established, mature plants prefer dry soil; too much moisture will cause disease. For the healthiest growth, keep the area weeded to reduce competition. Regular deadheading will allow the greatest number of blooms. Wallflower is often grown as an annual, though classified as a perennial; it will also reseed itself, though the plant can be trimmed back after blooming to prevent this. If overwintering this plant, cover it with a layer of mulch for protection and make sure the soil remains very dry. This plant attracts butterflies, resists deer, and grows well in containers.
Harvesting English Wallflower: Wallflower makes an excellent cut flower, and has a pleasant fragrance. Cut long stems of flowers that have just opened, and remove leaves that will fall below the water level; place in water immediately.
Saving English Wallflower Seeds: This plant will develop long, thin seed pods that turn from green to yellow to brown; mature seed will be a dark orange or rust color. Since the pods will split and release their seed when fully ripe, they must be harvested promptly to avoid loss. Remove the pods individually as they ripen to a light brown, and spread them out to dry. Alternatively, the entire plant can be pulled when most of the pods are ripe and hung upside down to dry. Separate the seed from the pods. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed English Wallflower Info: Origin: Southern Europe Other Common Names: Aegean Wallflower Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring-Early Summer Height: 18-24 inches Spacing: 15-18 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 5a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 17,000 Produces plants with narrow 6-8” green leaves topped by clusters of 2” bright orange flowers.