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How to Grow and Care for Catchfly Flowers

Perennial and Annual, Silene Armeria

Catchfly flowers are easy to grow, and will thrive in even poor soils.

Native to Europe and Africa, some consider this a carnivorous, plant as it traps flies and insects on its sticky calyses. Once captured, it does not consume the insect, like most true carnivorous plants.

The Catchfly plant is truly a perennial, but most grow it 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. It's 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

Plant Height: 18" - 24"

Did You Know? These plants were used in African rituals to influence dreams.

Plant Propagation:

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 are prolific self-seeders. If you want to control their spread, dead head blooms immediately after they have died.

Days to Germination: 15 - 25

How to Grow Catchfly Flowers:

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 do well even in average to poor soils, and even rocky soils. However, they respond well to better soils. 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 by support from other nearby plants. Or, stake them, as needed.

Flowers Bloom: Summer to Fall

Insect and Disease:

Catchfly plants have few insect and disease problems.

However, they will not grow well in wet soil, and plant fungal diseases can result.


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