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How to Grow Centaurea Plants

Here are some easy tips for how to grow Centaurea plants: In average, well-drained soil, dig a hole twice the size of the pot. The top of the root ball should be level with the soil. Fill in the hole and tamp down to prevent air pockets. Water well. If planting multiple Centaurea plants, space them 3 ft. apart.

Description: These easy-to-maintain perennial plants grow naturally in meadows or pastures. They have hardy grey-green foliage (often spiky) and showy, thistle-like flowers. The blooms range in solid or mixed colors of intense blues to reds, yellows, and white.

Pronunciation: sen-taw-REE-uh

Common Name(s): Mountain bluet, Knapweed, Basket flower

Origin: N. America; the Middle East

Propagation: By seed. Centaurea plants self-seed easily.

Sun/Light Needs: Full to part sun

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

Fertilizer Needs: Knapweed plants generally need no fertilizing.

Maintenance: Prune by 1/3 after bloom. Divide roots every couple of years.

Companion Plants: Poppy, Russian sage, Butterfly weed

Display: Meadows, pastures, cut flower and dried arrangements

Pests/Diseases: Knapweed plants have no serious pests or diseases

Wildlife Value: Attracts butterflies and honeybees; drought tolerant

Herbal/Medicinal Uses: Both the roots and the greens of these perennial plants are eaten and also used in folk medicine.  Laboratory tests show Knapweed plants have anti-cancer properties.

Note: Knapweed plants are not digested by livestock and can be toxic to horses

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