Description: These cheerful, ragged blossoms are at home in temperate gardens around the world. They bloom so prolifically with so little care that they often are the first plants that children grow on their own.
The nickname "cornflower" comes from the fact that the plant grows wild in the grain fields of southern Europe. When Napoleon forced Queen Louise of Prussia from Berlin, she hid her children in a cornfield and kept them entertained and quiet by weaving wreaths of cornflowers.
Hardy: Zone 3 (you can find some that are perennials, but most are annuals so be careful when shopping)
Bloom Time: June - September
Height: 1-3 feet
Spacing: 1 feet
Sun Needs: Full sun to light shade
Water Needs: Low
Outstanding Features: Bachelor's buttons are known for their brilliant blue flowers, and exact shade is hard to capture in a photograph.
Uses: Cut flowers
Tips: The bachelor button requires almost no care, other than the minimal requirements described above for first planting. Its rugged nature makes it a great option for gardeners who like the beauty of plants but who do not want to do extensive hands-on gardening.
For the annual variety:
Bachelor buttons are annuals, which means they complete their entire life cycle in a single year, and then die. But don't despair; they may be back next year! Bachelor buttons ensure their own survival by dropping seeds that will germinate and grow the following year in most climates. As with most annuals, keeping the spent flowers picked off will encourage the production of more flowers, but to allow them a chance to reseed, leave some of the last flowers to die naturally on the plant. This will give them a chance to drop seeds.