Centaura: Perennial Bachelor Button

redsox_gwApril 2, 2009

Has anybody grown this before? Is it a garden thug or stays put?

Will it tolerate clay, alkaline soil? Please tell me about it if you have grown it.

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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Stays put for me - a slow growing clump. I have it in full sun with my gaillardias.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:07PM
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I swapped seeds for seeds of this and not one has come up for me. I guess I'll plant some more and try again.

It's a beautiful plant from pictures. I heard they don't like the heat in the south, but I still want to try and grow them.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:14PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Centauria montana? It's one of those fairly short lived perennials that seeds around a bit.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 1:00PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Centaurea montana - (aka Mountain bluet, perennial cornflower) but I think we're talking about the same plant.

Pretty blue, clump forming, tolerates acidic clay here, as well as winter wet, also handles dry conditions once established.

Downside in my garden....mildew, and if not supported by other plants or stakes, clump will part down the middle and fall to each side later in the season then requiring cutting back hard. Self sows.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 3:53PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

I have the same experience as morz8. It gets unattractive after blooming but if cut back it resprouts and looks better.

It is sort of a thug in my zone 6 garden.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:20PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I agree that the foliage can sometimes get mildew and flop after blooming, but the simplest way to get rid of that is to cut it back. Mine rebloom some after doing so. Mine do reseed, but not too bad. I wouldn't worry about that though, since they do not reseed in ever situation and are super easy to pluck out.

I think it is an under-estimated plant. It has wonderful flowers and doesn't require much care. I say plant it!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:25PM
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YMMV is theme, I think.

Mine was gorgeous year 1. About 3' tall, and covered in 'catalog' blooms.
Year 2 was shorter, and fewer blooms.
Year 3 I think it was MIA. I was sad.

I winter sowed a new batch of it this year, and also got a dealbata (same thing only pink) in a fall plant swap. I'm excited to see new growth on it already. I'll definitely be looking for a new Montana, though. I really liked it, as did the paper wasps (they mind their business if you don't bother them).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 2:33PM
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I have had a clump for four or five years. It has grown steadily, although not aggressively. I think I divided it once. It's in morning sun, shade from 2 pm on. (I am in zone 5. Grown in clay soil, albeit with a nice 4" layer of compost on top. I have found it to be a great plant. Doesn't flop, no mildew, reblooms a bit if deadheaded. No reseeding issue, although I have deadheaded it. I love it. I also have centaurea dealbata which has a bright pink flower.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:15PM
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Very mixed reviews! Maybe I will just try one.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 3:26PM
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I think you should : ) I got a little piece from a friend a 3 years ago, and it has slowly increased. Here it is in my front walk border last spring.

So in a couple years it has made a nice small clump.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 3:42PM
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woodyswife(z5 OH)

Is this plant an early riser or late rise? I have a small piece in one of my beds and don't remember. I do like it and wish I had more so I may start some from seed as I never see it in nurseries.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:52AM
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Can anyone explain YMMV?

I was given a small clump of this by a friend about 10 years ago. It is in part sun, and has done fine: no spreading, no seeding, no disease. I wouldn't mind if it had gotten a bit bigger.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:00AM
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YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 4:38PM
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I love mine but you definitely want to cut back to basal foliage after bloom. They come back with nice neat foliage and sporadic blooms for the rest of the summer.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 7:24PM
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