Centaurea Macrocephala – ( Giant Knapweed, Armenian Basket)
Centaurea Macrocephala is a drought resistant hardy plant which has dramatic thistle like flowers in summer. It is a great plant for those places which need a little bit of drama.
This plant is a handsome architectural specimen for the garden, as well as being an easy care plant. Huge brown buds open into large 10 cm attractive yellow flowers which look somewhat like those of a thistle, in mid summer. The blooms are attractive to butterflies and perform very well as a cut flower.
The plant is quite hardy and will withstand drought and some neglect and still produce its handsome flowers each summer for you. It is a great plant for the back border or for a place where you need an easy care plant , which will also show off a little in summer.
Sow spring or autumn.
Sow seeds in seed trays or containers in seed raising mix. Moisten the mix by standing the container in water, then let it drain.
Cover the seeds with a 1cm layer of soil – centaureas need darkness to germinate. Use a fine spray to moisten the top. Cover the trays or containers with clear plastic to keep the mix moist while the seeds are germinating and place in a warm location, around 20°C. Germination takes 3 to 4 weeks.
When the seedlings emerge, remove the plastic covers and put the tray/pots in a sunny location. Water as needed to keep the mix moist (not soggy).
Transplant into permanent position when large enough. You can also dig some compost or dried manure into the soil before planting- approx 2 to 5cm.
Plant in full or partial sun in any average soil. Give them room to spread, space about 60cm apart. Water the planting well.
Armenian Basket, Giant knapweed
60 – 90 cm
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