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How to grow Cerinthe

How to grow Cerinthe


Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens'

Also known as Honeywort.

Type - Hardy Annual

Border position - Front, Middle

Soil type - Fertile, Neutral

Site - Full Sun, Sheltered

Spacing - 30-45cm apart for a cutting garden.


Soak seeds overnight before sowing.

Sow under cover between February and April (around 6 weeks before your last frost date) for a summer flowering or in August and September (around 6 weeks before your first frost date) for an early spring flowering the following year.

Alternatively sow directly into the soil in mid-April or September.

Can be grown in containers.

Flowers 12 weeks after sowing.


Flowers from May to September with silvery leaves and small bell-shaped purple flowers.

Will grow 60cm high.

Great for foliage in your bouquets.

And even better these plants will self-seed so you can collect their seeds and dry them, ready to plant out the following year, or simply leave them in the ground.

The plants will die with the first frost so remove the parent from the ground at that point, lightly mulch and the new seeds will begin to grow in the spring.

Deadhead any faded flower stems.

When you harvest the blooms, sear the ends in boiling water for 30 seconds.


Easy to grow and low maintenance.

Slug-resistant - it is one of only 2 plants that survived my slug attack this year!

In Bouquets

Its dark foliage is a great contrast to lighter flowers, or it can be used to complement other purple flowers.

Take a look at my Cerinthe Bouquet board on Pinterest for inspiration:


These flowers are perfect for bees and other pollinators, so great for your garden's eco-credentials too.  





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