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Centaurea montana 'Blue'

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Bachelor's Button-Perennial
Common Name (Alternative): Mountain Bluet

The cornflower-blue, fringed blossoms of this perennial attract butterflies like magnets in the garden. Centaurea blooms from early to midsummer and usually blooms again in the fall if plants are cut back hard after the first flush. The flowers are old-fashioned favorites in cut flower bouquets.

This species is a low, spreading one and it will self-seed prolifically if it is not deadheaded. However, it looks best when planted en mass where the blue flower display has the most visual impact.

Characteristics:



Height:
  24 Inches
Spread:
  24-36 Inches
Hardiness Zone:
3,4,5,6,7,8
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Low water needs
  Average water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts butterflies
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
How fast should it grow?:
  Medium
When should it bloom?:
  Early summer
  Midsummer
  Mid-fall
How's your soil?:
  Poor Soil
  Average Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
  Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Cottage
  Eclectic

Attributes:

Border plants
Cut flower or foliage
Drought Tolerant
Mass Planting

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

This perennial is simple to grow and maintain. It needs full sun and thrives in well-drained, limey soils. Centaurea montana 'Blue' is native to dry sites, making it somewhat drought tolerant. Avoid soil that is soggy in winter, which will almost certainly kill it. If planted in too much shade Centaurea will become leggy and floppy. Growing it in full sun and cutting it back hard after flowering should eliminate the need to stake it.

To prevent overcrowding, division should be performed every 2-4 years in the spring.


Companions:

Common/Botanical Name
Zones  
Leucanthemum superbum 'Becky'
Common Name: Shasta Daisy
5,6,7,8,9
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Achillea 'Coronation Gold'
Common Name: Yarrow
3,4,5,6,7,8
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Alchemilla mollis
Common Name: Lady's Mantle
3,4,5,6,7
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Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'
Common Name: Coreopsis-Threadleaf
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound'
Common Name: Silver Mound Artemesia
3,4,5,6,7
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Liatris spicata 'Kobold'
Common Name: Gayfeather
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Centranthus ruber 'Coccineus'
Common Name: Red Valerian
4,5,6,7,8
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Cerastium tomentosum 'Yo Yo'
Common Name: Snow in Summer
3,4,5,6,7
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Helictotrichon sempervirens
Common Name: Grass-Ornamental
3,4,5,6,7,8
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While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.