Wallflowers can be attractive and fragrant, are easy to grow, as well as a great addition to any rock, border or container garden. They get their name from the fact they like to grow through cracks in brick and cement walls.
Erysimum, a fast-growing variety of wallflowers, blooms almost year-round and has beautiful four-petalled flowers. They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange red, blue, purple, and red. While most wallflowers can be grown as shrubs there are also ground-cover varieties. You can plant your wallflower seeds in spring or autumn.
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Erysimum wallflowers are part of the Brassicaceae family. They are closely related to popular cruciferous vegetable broccoli, cauliflower, and even kale. They can be grown as annuals, perennials or biennials and are low-maintenance plants.
Wallflowers should only be grown in bright, sunny areas. They can tolerate partial shade, but they thrive in full sunlight. Gardeners in northern climates need to plant in direct sunlight. Southern gardeners should plant in areas that get some shade, so that the wallflowers can take a break from the intense south rays.
Wallflowers thrive in well-drained, medium-to-dry soils. Wallflowers that are too moist will quickly drown if they are planted in soil that is too wet.
Wallflowers can withstand drought and don’t need much water. When wallflowers are just starting to grow, water them regularly and cut back when they become mature. You can supplement the infrequent rain with some watering if necessary. Be aware that wallflowers are not tolerant to wet feet or standing water. Avoid planting them in areas where they can get wet.
Temperature and humidity
Wallflowers need warm temperatures to become evergreen. They can be grown in U.S. Zones 6-9, but they are also able to overwinter in colder areas. They can adapt to both dry and wet conditions and are highly adaptable.
Wallflowers don’t require much fertilizer to thrive. Mix compost in soil before planting, and then apply all-purpose fertilizer mid- and late-summer.
- “Bowles’s Mauve”: Provides mauve blooms and richness
- ‘Apricot Delight’: Has fragrant orange-apricot flowers
- ‘Winter Orchid: This orchid boasts multi-colored flowers in an evergreen mound
- “Walberton’s Fragrant Sunshine”: Features bushy, compact orange blooms
- Red Jep: This has fragrant purple to red flowers
Wallflowers thrive when they are pruned regularly. After they stop blooming, or early in the spring, you should cut them back. You can prune them to a few inches above the soil. Once temperatures rise again, you will be rewarded with dense new growth.
Cuttings are a way to propagate wallflowers. How to do it: Cut the cuttings in late spring. Make sure each one has at least one leaf nude. Take out all flower buds and flowers from the cutting, and only leave three to four leaves. To get the best results, dip your cutting in a rooting hormone prior to planting it in soil or compost.
Wallflowers should be dead-headed to keep them full and healthy. Keep the blooms in good condition for continued blooming by regularly pinching back the spent blooms.
How to Grow Wallflowers from Seed
Wallflowers can be grown from seeds. You can either sow them directly in the garden or you can start them indoors. Wallflower seeds should not be planted before the end of the autumn or early spring. Wallflower seeds require light to germinate. If you plan to start the seeds indoors, make sure that there is enough light. Wallflower seeds can also be surface-sown and covered with 1/4 inch of topsoil. Wallflowers can be started indoors and transplant easily once established.
Potting and repotting wallflowers
Wallflowers are great container plants because they require little water and are easy to maintain. Wallflowers can be grown in containers and brought inside for winter. This is a great option for gardeners who live in colder areas. These plants will not tolerate water sitting in their roots so make sure your container is well-draining.
Common Diseases and Pests
Wallflowers, which are part of the Brassicaceae Family, are vulnerable to common garden pests like their vegetable cousins. These pests include cabbage worms, flea beetles and aphids. Wallflowers, unlike their Brassicaceae cousins, are more suited for dry conditions, which helps to avoid pest infestations. You can also prevent diseases and infestations of wallflowers by making sure you don’t plant them in containers or garden beds that have been used for other Brassicaceae species. Pathogens could still be present in the soil.