Agrostemma Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Agrostemma
Commonly called corn cockle or ocean pearls, Agrostemma is the perfect addition to the cottage garden. The willowy sprays of color are much loved by humminbirds and bees. The flowers are excellent for cutting and have a long life in the vase. Agrostemma is a common weed in many areas and self-sows very easily. It is best suited for cooler climates.
Directly sow Agrostemma seeds in the spring once hard frosts are over and as soon as the ground can be worked.
Agrostemma does best in full sun to partial shade. Rich soil is best, but it will tolerate poor soils. The soil must be well-draining.
How to Plant Agrostemma
- Agrostemma dislikes disturbances to the roots, so it is best to sow the seed directly outside
- In the spring when the soil can be work, weed the area, work the soil several inches in depth and amend with compost if needed
- Tamp down the soil to create a firm seedbed
- Scatter the Agrostemma seeds and lightly cover the seeds with soil 1/8 inch
- Keep the area moist for germination
- Once the seedlings have their true leaves, thin to the strongest seedling about 9 inches apart
- Agrostemma can be planted successively, every 2 - 3 weeks, to produce a long bloom season
Care And Maintenance
- Irrigate regularly to establish the plants and follow with irrigation weekly and during dry periods
- No fertilizers are needed
- Deadhead the spent blooms to keep the self-sowing at a minimum
- Harvest when a spray has one or two blooms opened
- Once Agrostemma is done blooming, it will die back on its own