Catchfly flowers are easy to grow and will thrive in even poor soils. They look great in English-style cottage gardens. You can grow them in flowerpots on your patio or deck. Also, try growing catchfly carnivorous plants indoors as a houseplant, too.
Native to Europe and Africa, some consider this a carnivorous, plant as it traps flies and insects on its sticky calyses. Actually, the plants are not true meat-eaters. Once an insect is captured, it does not consume the insect, like most true carnivorous plants.
The Catchfly plant is a perennial plant. However, most gardeners grow it outdoors as an annual. It produces vivid colors of pink, magenta, red, and white. Blooms are 3/4 to 1 inch across and have no floral scent. Its stems and leaves are covered with fine white hairs.
Catchfly flowers are at home in English cottage gardens, as a country wildflower. Use them as borders, and in containers.
Other Names: None So Pretty Flower, Campion, Sweet William, Catchfly Plant
Flowers Bloom: Summer to Fall
Plant Height: 18″ – 24″
Did You Know? These plants were used in African rituals to influence dreams.
Perennial and Annual, Silene Armeria
Catchfly plants are grown from seeds. Sow seeds early in the season, about 3 weeks before the last frost in your area. Cover seeds lightly with 1/4″ of garden soil. They germinate easily and the plants will grow quickly.
Catchfly flowers are prolific self-seeders. If you want to control their spread, deadhead blooms immediately after they have died.
Days to Germination: 15 – 25 days.
Easy to grow Catchfly plants prefer full to partial sun. Plants do not like high heat. Grow in partial shade or afternoon shade, in hotter areas of the country.
The plants grow best in slightly alkaline soil. They do well in average to poor soils and even rocky soils. However, they respond well to better soils. And, it is important that the soil is well-draining Soggy soils can kill the plant.
Use a general-purpose fertilizer once or twice a season for best performance.
Once the plants are established, they prefer slightly dry soils. They do not like wet soils.
Mulch around plants for a neat appearance and to keep weeds down.
Plants will benefit from support from other nearby plants. Or, stake them, as needed.
Ideal Soil pH: Slightly alkaline
Plant Problems – causes and cures
Catchfly plants have few insect and disease problems.
However, they will not grow well in wet soil, and plant fungal diseases can result.