Bright colourful wallflowers

Embrace the vibrant world of bedding wallflowers (Erysimum cheiri), resilient members of the cabbage family. These biennial beauties boast slender, dark-green foliage and lavish us with fragrant, springtime blooms in an array of hues. In autumn these hardy biennials make their debut as bare-root plants. This means that they are field grown, then lifted and distributed for sale in quick succession without soil around their roots. Sold in bunches, these are an extremely popular way to purchase wallflowers, as they offer more value for money than potted versions. They are also hardy enough to cope with winter frosts, and they’ll establish and flower more quickly than those planted in spring.

The period from when they go on sale in the autumn, to when they finish, can be fleeting. It is often weather dependent. Like buying turf, bare-root wallflowers have a short shelf life and need to be planted as soon as possible. For that reason a limited number of plants are lifted weekly during the bare-root season, and we don’t hold overstocks. To ensure you get the colours you want it is worth speaking to our plant departments and reserving stock from upcoming deliveries during bare-root wallflower season.

golden-yellow wallflowers
ivory white wallflowers
orange-red wallflowers

When buying wallflowers it is key to look out for a few things:

  1. Check the roots have not dried out
  2. Check the plants look healthy. You may notice a slight yellowing of any foliage but this is quite natural after they have been in a packaging and is nothing to be worried about – they will soon recover. Plants with lots of rotting leaves or mould should be avoided

Planting your wallflowers:

  1. Choose a moist but well-drained spot that gets lots of sun
  2. Ideally prepare your soil in advance by removing weeds and digging in some compost. If planting into containers use compost with added John Innes and ensure there is good drainage
  3. Soak the roots in water for an hour before planting them out in borders or containers. If you are unable to plant out immediately, temporarily heel the plants in. It’s important to keep the roots moist at all times
  4. Plant around 25-30cm apart, firming in well. Each plant will get bushier as it develops. Water in well and keep the plants moist until they are well established
  5. For extra bushy plants pinch out the growing tip after planting. This will also protect any late growth that may be hit by frosts
Wallflower Planters

Ongoing care:

• Keep the soil moist, especially when plants are flowering.
• Weekly applications of liquid feed in spring enhance flower production, especially for container-grown specimens.
• Deadhead plants to prolong flowering.

wallflower and bee

Spring Displays

Wallflowers can be spectacular in spring where there’s little else in flower, and they make fantastic partners to tulips. Pollinators benefit from the pollen and nectar they provide early in the year. They make an excellent cut flower bringing their sweet but spicy fragrance in to your home.

wallflowers with tulips

Hazel Still Tates of Sussex Garden Centres
By our resident horticultural expert

Hazel Still