Spacing: 15-18 in. (38-45 cm) 18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Medium Blue
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall Late Fall/Early Winter
Foliage: Herbaceous Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
On Jun 3, 2013, JennyWren102 from Mason, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
Performs beautifully under difficult conditions when other plants around it are struggling. It likes growing in front of my dryer vent in the blazing sun in the West foundation bed. The vent has spread some seed, but seedlings are easy to control when young. Makes a great cut flower for bouquets of wildflowers from the gardens. Next time you cut or deadhead smell the blooms--they're heavenly! Smells like fresh peaches!
On May 26, 2013, hermero from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
Like others, this plant was in my yard when we moved to this house in the 90s. The house is 100+ years old, so who knows when it arrived. I don't do anything with it, but let it grow where it wants. It's not invasive really, just moves around the yard some. I have not even collected the seeds as it so freely self sows each year. I thought it was a bachelor button and only recently realized the leaves were not right and the flowers larger. The foliage is quite gray green, pointed oval leaves, and a little fuzzy, so it may not even be mountain bluet, but it is the closest I've seen; abundant deep azure 3-inch flowers. Thank you so much for those who have posted pictures. It really was a big help with this. I am collecting seeds this year to see if I can get it to grow by sprinkling some on the parking strip by the street. Zone 8.
This plant was here when I moved to this house 8 years ago and I've been trying to ID since then! So happy I stumbled across this site.
My experience has been similar to other posters....the plant is BEAUTIFUL in the spring but once the flowers are gone, the foliage gets ugly and is often covered with powdery mildew. It also tends to spread a bit farther each year. Despite these drawbacks, I've kept the plant because it's such a welcomed site in the spring. After reading other posts, I won't hesitate to cut it back nearly to the ground and am excited to plant some of the other suggested plants around it to hide the spent foliage.
I thought the term 'ruggedly robust' that was suggested by another post was an apt description for this plant :-)
On May 29, 2012, daffodilily from Somerville, AL wrote:
I love bachelor buttons and have seen how well they grow in so many areas! I have been very disappointed with my bedding plants set out about 10 weeks ago. None of the 4 has died, but they have hardly grown. They look limp; watering hasn't helped. They are in partial sun--both shasta daisies and Lenten roses planted in the same area at the same time are thriving. What do I need to do?
On Nov 26, 2010, Vattina from Garrettsville, OH wrote:
If I have the correct plant -- this is a real beauty! I planted a half dead bargain plant and once it took off -wow!
It is just now blooming at the end of November! Can't wait to see what it does next year.
On Aug 9, 2010, madplan from Big Timber, MT wrote:
I have taken my mountain bluet for granted for 30 + years here in zone 4. A friend gave me this plant originally. Every time I moved I brought it along with me. It always performed, sometimes better, sometimes worse. Just this year I decided to identify it and give it the attention it deserves as I notice it is somewhat deer resistant. It's longevity tells me it is certainly hardy.
On Jun 28, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Late spring/early summer flowering. Large flower heads make a showy mass of very true blue.
By June the foliage gets yellow and weedy; the plant flops and stretches out everywhere. Where the mound of flowers was is now a pit of yellowing pithy stems. Baby plants are pushing up around the perimeter.
I keep this plant although it not "carefree." The wettest dreariest April weather only makes them grow more, and the garden looks so promising with the fresh woolly leaves sprouting up over the remnants of last year's garden.
I have found this European exotic to be highly invasive in my Central MD garden in full sun. The more I learn about it the more determined I become to eradicate it ASAP. While not unnattractive, its a real thug and I don't want it to spread beyond my yard.
On Jul 13, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
As others have noted, this is a true blue flower, stunning in bloom. It does get ratty looking after bloom, but I just cut it back to the ground and the new growth quickly fills in. I have planted this next to Centaurea simplicicaulis which has a pink flower and blooms shortly after montana, and this works well for concealment as well. Blooms May to June for me. Self sows readily, but not a problem to pull the babies (and relocate if you have the space). I've been introducing them to my pasture and woodlot areas where they can have free rein.
On Jun 19, 2009, GreenThumbBum from Godfrey, IL wrote:
Just happened upon this little jewel at a plant sale! Love the color - finally got the info I needed from this site! I leave some heads on and dead head others for re-bloom - which I am happy to say it has - hoping for 2 re-blooms? I hope this plant follows the other comments and invades away!!! :-)
On May 31, 2009, CATSSTAFF from Westminster, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:
I just love the blue color of this plant!You really can't find a better true blue.
It takes every bit of neglect I can throw it's way and yet still survives. It has horrible heavy clay soil, no suplemental water, no fertilizer, often times this is the area I weed last so it gets competition from weeds and it still does well.
It does reseed itself readily, but I have never found it a problem to move when it comes up somewhere I don't want it to be. I just dig it up and move it elsewhere.
It is great planted amongst my daylilies because as it's done blooming they start and their foliage hides the centaurea foliage.
On May 2, 2007, birder17 from Jackson, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have had this plant for several years but did not know what it was until now. This plant is growing in poor clay soil on the west side at the bottom of my deck steps in full sun. I have nepeta growing by it and a red and pink honeysuckle vine. The color of the perennial cornflower is outstanding. It does reseed in mid summer, but I just pull them up.
On Feb 8, 2007, Bellisgirl from Spokane, WA wrote:
Hi! This plant has very pritty, true-blue flowers. This will be my third year growing it; I am very happy with it. The plant was quite small when I bought it, but it has now formed a nice clump, which I may be able to divide this spring. Mine is in a somewhat droughty area, which may be the reason it has not re-seeded everywhere.
On May 11, 2006, bluegirl77 from Charlotte, NC wrote:
Love it. Planted it 3 days ago & already blooming beautifully. It calls for full sun but I am reading it does well in partial. I recently joined this site to learn more, given my novice gardening skills. My mountain blue is covered in RED ants, which I am now relieved to find is normal.
So far this has not been invasive for me. I have moved it several times trying to get it in just the "right spot," so it may not have had a chance. As long as it stays well behaved, I really like it. Another name for it is Perennial Bachelor Button.
On Sep 6, 2005, Joyous from Himrod, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I must agree with haighr, this plant is very invasive in my yard. Thankfully it is in a bed separated from most of my other plants. It spreads with abandon and has roots that seem to go on forever. If I can ever get rid of it I would never bring it back in to my yard again. I do not even offer it as a freebie to my friends.
On Jul 10, 2005, skilledwithands from Issaquah, WA wrote:
This is one of the weediest pretty flowers I have ever seen. I moved into a house that already had these established and I think it is the house I live in that has been the epicenter for this plants spread throughout the neighborhood.
Plants look great while young and in flower... once the flower is done and gone the plant looks rugged and weedy. The plant spreads by offsets produced at the base and very well by seed. They are a pain to uproot.
On Dec 28, 2004, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:
This plant has been hardy here in zone 4, and hasn't been invasive for me at all. Actually, I would have given it a positive except that it gets kinda weedy looking in late summer. I'll try cutting it down like someone suggested.
I also loved this plant and tried one. It gave me quite a show of flowers. About June 23 (Holland, PA, zone 6) I noticed something that another subscriber also mentioned. It appeared that the plant was choking and that a cat laid down in the center of the plant and parted it to the left and right. I watered it well but it remained wilted looking. I always deadheaded the plant so I knew it was nothing I purposefully did not do. I decided to cut it down to about an inch in the hopes that the plant will revive itself. I also left the flowers that I deadheaded around the plant, hoping it would reseed itself. I love this plant. It shows beautiful in the sunshine and looks like a sparkler on a birthday cake when it blooms. Any other info on this plant, and also on the yellow variety would be appreciated. Jan D.
I love this plant so much I moved it from Vancouver BC (Zone7) to Kimberley BC (Zone3) with no problems. I've never had a problem with it getting out of control 'cause as soon as it gets leggy, it is cut right back to the ground and comes back a second time, just like my 'Johnson's Blue' perennial Geraniums. I'm now trying seeds, from a friend who grows Centaurea macrocephala (Yellow Coneflower)with great success in Zone3.
Very nice. Blooms in spring and still is now (late July). When coming up in the spring, it looks very fresh & lush and comes up fast. After blooming for a while the foliage begins to look gnarly and it is often covered with powdery mildew. You just cut it right back down to the ground and it starts all over again. They bloom in the fall too, even in the snow. Very popular plant in my neighbourhood but not all of them know about cutting it back a few times. I like it so much I have just bought some seeds for the yellow kind, hoping it behaves the same way.
On Jul 30, 2003, MaryE from Baker City, OR (Zone 5b) wrote:
My perennial cornflower (just id'd thanks to the database) was a 4 inch potted plant that I got either free or for 25 cents at a closeout sale. It's planted in partial shade, made a big clump that bloomed and then fell outward like the cat might have layed down right in the middle. I cut off everything that was flat and it came up from the center and it is a nice plant again, blooming for the 2nd time this season, late July now. Mine has ants too.
I found this plant this year in my new homes garden and love it. The color show is gorgeous and does well in my zone 6 shaded area. Started blooming in early May and is just starting to give up in mid-June. A must have.
On Aug 1, 2002, haighr from Hagerstown, MD (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have found these to be the most invasive plants in my gardens. My personal distaste is that the foilage is weedy looking to me. They are not a plant you can just reach down and pull as they root quite deeply. Although the blue flower is attractive, I find the rest of the plant unappealing.
On Jul 28, 2002, darius from So.App.Mtns. United States (Zone 5b) wrote:
I started with 2 seedlings from a friend, about 3 years ago. I now have almost a dozen. However, they were in a partial shaded place for 1 year and became quite mouldy and I lost a few. Moving them back to full sun this year has resulted in more blooms and more plants. Self seeding, and require deadheading for more blooms. (Zone 6b, summers seldom above 90 degrees F.)
On Jul 6, 2002, debi_z from Springfield, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
what a show this multi shades of whispery blue flower puts on in june. with deadheading it will bloom these 2" flowers all summer long. i planted 3, 4" potted plants, 12 inches apart, may 2001. 1 plant prospered that year to bloom, 1 died and 1 hung on for life. spring 2002, with 2 plants now the one hanging on to life grew 2 leaves, then died. The final plant thrived to be ~ 20" tall and 30" wide and has stayed that size now for 2 months. planted at the border of my driveway garden, only 12 inches from the blacktop surface, in full sun it withstands the heat nicely for me. As naturepatch said they must require ants to blossom because they are covered in small black ants. So it is not a plant i cut and bring into the house.
I know this plant as a perennial Bachelor Button.
On May 6, 2002, naturepatch from Morris, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
Stunning plant when in bloom. Tends to get a bit wilty in high heat, so provide shade. Attracts earthworms. Will self-seed occasionally. Deadheading will prolong bloom time. Might need ants to open like a peony. Ants are always on it when it is getting ready to bloom.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (3 reports) Bear Creek, Alaska Juneau, Alaska Rogers, Arkansas Citrus Heights, California Laguna West-lakeside, California Oakland, California Sebastopol, California Kiowa, Colorado Steamboat Springs, Colorado New Haven, Connecticut Stamford, Connecticut Cordele, Georgia Druid Hills, Georgia Victor, Idaho Cherry Valley, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Godfrey, Illinois Machesney Park, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois Fishers, Indiana Gosport, Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana (2 reports) Cedar Rapids, Iowa Inwood, Iowa Keomah Village, Iowa Nichols, Iowa Pacific Junction, Iowa Ewing, Kentucky Hebron, Kentucky Oakland, Maine Portland, Maine Marbury, Maryland North Bethesda, Maryland Westminster, Maryland Amesbury, Massachusetts Foxborough, Massachusetts Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts Norton, Massachusetts Saugus, Massachusetts Bellaire, Michigan Grand Blanc, Michigan Grand Haven, Michigan Mason, Michigan Novi, Michigan Pinconning, Michigan Albertville, Minnesota Blaine, Minnesota Coates, Minnesota Fridley, Minnesota Florence, Mississippi Flint Hill, Missouri Jackson, Missouri Piedmont, Missouri Big Timber, Montana Four Corners, Montana Auburn, New Hampshire Dover, New Hampshire Brookside, New Jersey Binghamton, New York Clayton, New York Crown Heights, New York Deposit, New York Hilton, New York Himrod, New York Lowville, New York Lyncourt, New York Rochester, New York Southold, New York Stamford, New York Yonkers, New York Broadway, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Winston-salem, North Carolina Belfield, North Dakota Bexley, Ohio Bolindale, Ohio Bucyrus, Ohio Carlisle, Ohio Corning, Ohio Coshocton, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Geneva, Ohio Williamsburg, Ohio Oklahoma City, Oklahoma , Ontario Albany, Oregon Baker City, Oregon Klamath Falls, Oregon Mill City, Oregon Portland, Oregon (2 reports) Coopersburg, Pennsylvania East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania Lancaster, Pennsylvania Lewisburg, Pennsylvania Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania Penn Wynne, Pennsylvania Port Matilda, Pennsylvania West Goshen, Pennsylvania Johnston, Rhode Island Celina, Tennessee Elizabethton, Tennessee Fairfield Glade, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee Jacksonville, Texas Mc Lean, Virginia West Springfield, Virginia Bellevue, Washington Cathan, Washington Chimacum, Washington Everett, Washington Freeland, Washington Issaquah, Washington Kalama, Washington Lake Goodwin, Washington Millwood, Washington Moxee, Washington Navy Yard City, Washington Olympia, Washington Port Townsend, Washington Poulsbo, Washington Seattle, Washington Silverdale, Washington Town And Country, Washington Shepherdstown, West Virginia Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin Franklin, Wisconsin Menasha, Wisconsin Vernon, Wisconsin Cody, Wyoming