Take stock of the flowers in your yard. Hopefully growing Annual Stock plants are on your list, as it is an attractive, sweet-smelling flowering plant. Stock flowers have a spicy, sweet fragrance. This native of Europe and Asia Minor produces an abundance of flowers on long stems. But, they will only do so in cooler weather.
Stock plants grow up to three feet tall. The flowers make good-cut flowers for indoor arrangements. A dwarf variety, growing just 8″ – 12″ tall, is also available. In addition to being fragrant, the flowers are attractive in a range of bright colors.
These plants will look great filling in your flowerbed, or as a border edging. The taller varieties should go towards the back of the flower garden. Place dwarf varieties upfront. Try them in containers, too. Or, the dwarf varieties will look and smell good in a windowsill planter.
Flowers Bloom: Spring through Summer
Flower Colors: Varying shades of apricot, blue, lavender, orange, pink, purple, white, and yellow.
Plant height: 1 to 3 feet tall, depending upon variety.
Plant Hardiness Zones: 7 – 10
Other Names: Gilly Flower, Ten Weeks Flower
Annual, Matthiola Incana
Stock plants are grown from seeds. Stock seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later.
Sow Stock seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8″ of fine garden or potting soil. Water thoroughly when planting. Keep the soil moist.
Transplant Stock into your garden after the last frost date for your area. Space them seven to twelve inches apart. They will tolerate a little crowding.
Final Plant Spacing: Space plants 7 – 12 inches apart.
Days to Germination: Seeds sprout in 7 – 10 days.
Stock likes full sun. They will tolerate a light shade. Plants prefer rich, loose soil that drains well. Add a general-purpose fertilizer when planting them, then once a month after that.
Once your Stock plants are established, they should grow well with few problems. Keep the soil moist to slightly dry. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Keep them well weeded, or apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch for a tidy appearance.
Stock thrives in cooler weather or climates. They will not form flower buds in temperatures higher than the mid-60s. In warm weather areas, try planting them in the winter for spring blooms.
As an annual plant, Stock will survive a light frost.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.5.
Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures, too.
Insect and disease problems are not common. treat with insecticide, repellents, or fungicides, as needed.