Plant wallflowers

They’ll be a delight with their bright and fragrant blooms.

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Wallflowers and other biennials such as foxgloves and sweet Williams need a lengthened growing season. Annuals are sown, grow and die in one season, but biennials get themselves established and leaf up in their first growing season and then flower the next – hence we start preparing this year for next year’s display.

These wallflowers (Erysimum cheiri) look slightly different and are distinguishable from the perennial wallflowers (E. linifolium) we know and love such as ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ or ‘Red Jep’, which we often buy for planting in spring. Common biennial wallflowers are also very sweetly scented – a real joy.

Summer sowing will put up young plants ready for planting out now – or you can simply buy ready-done plugs or bare roots from the garden centre to get going now. They like poor and very well-drained, grit-improved soil, and lots and lots of sun! Just remind yourself of their common name to determine what situation they like – a sun-baked wall with barely any compost and water freely draining away. They need no fertiliser or improved soil, so therefore are very undemanding, and will delight you with their short-stemmed, bright and fragrant spring flowers.