English Wallflower: A Fragrant Cool Season Flower

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Lawn & Garden

English wallflower, a relative of mustard, is an annual flower that is widely grown for cool season display. This sweetly fragrant flower is especially popular in England, where millions of these flowers are grown every year.

The English wallflower typically grows from 1 to 2.5 feet tall and has many branches. It produces showy terminal spikes in a range of colors, including creamy white, yellow, orange, tan, brown, and chestnut red. Some varieties are double.

English wallflowers do best in average, moist soil in sun or partial shade. They are ideal for areas with nighttime summer temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In Zones 8, 9, and 10, they can be grown as perennials. In other areas, they are best grown as annuals for cool season display in spring or fall.

You can propagate English wallflowers by seed. When grown as annuals, sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost is expected. Germination takes 5 to 7 days at 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When transplanting to individual pots, pinch out the tip of the tap root to encourage a bushy root system. Sow seeds in July or August so that plants can winter over for the earliest spring flowering.

English wallflowers are versatile plants that can be planted in rock gardens, beds, and borders. They are also perfect for planting by sidewalks and doorsteps. Wallflowers will bloom all winter in a cool room in sunlight, and they also make good cut flowers.

Other related species of wallflowers include Erysimum hieraciifolium (Cheiranthus allioni), which is the closely related Siberian wallflower. There are also many separate, named varieties of English wallflowers, including Blood Red, Cloth of Gold, Eastern Queen (salmon-red), White Dame, and Fire King (orange-scarlet). Available mixtures include Bedding Mixed and Double Dwarf Mixed.

If you’re interested in learning more about gardening, check out our articles on annual grasses, perennial grasses, and gardening.


1. What is an English Wallflower?

An English Wallflower is a type of perennial plant that is native to Europe. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family and is known for its fragrant, colorful flowers. The plant typically grows to a height of about 1-2 feet and has narrow, lance-shaped leaves. The flowers of the English Wallflower can range in color from yellow to orange-red and typically bloom in the spring and early summer.

2. How do you care for English Wallflowers?

English Wallflowers are relatively easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. They prefer well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. Water them regularly during the growing season and ensure that the soil does not become waterlogged. The plants can be propagated by seed or by division and should be fertilized once or twice a year with a balanced fertilizer.

3. What are some common uses for English Wallflowers?

English Wallflowers are often used in garden borders and rock gardens due to their vibrant colors and fragrant blooms. They are also used as cut flowers and can add a pop of color to floral arrangements. Additionally, the plant has been used in traditional medicine as a treatment for various ailments, including respiratory infections and skin conditions.

4. Are English Wallflowers invasive?

No, English Wallflowers are not considered to be invasive. While they can self-seed and spread in the garden, they are not typically aggressive and do not pose a threat to native plant species. However, it is important to monitor the growth of the plant and remove any unwanted seedlings to prevent overcrowding.

5. Can English Wallflowers survive in cold climates?

Yes, English Wallflowers are hardy perennials that can survive in cold climates. They are able to tolerate frost and freezing temperatures and can even bloom in the snow. However, they may require some additional protection in extremely cold or windy conditions. Mulching around the base of the plant can help to insulate the roots and protect them from the cold.

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