Expect sturdy, well-branched plants that produce an abundance of early bright, fragrant flowers. They are excellent for cutting. Stocks prefers cool growing conditions. In cold winter areas plant in earliest spring. Where winters are mild set out plants in early fall. Bloom begins in winter or early spring. These annual flowers are sometimes listed as Gillyflowers. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow stocks from seeds.

Matthiola longipetala
Family: Brassicaceae

Somewhat challenging

Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost, or direct sow outdoors after last frost. Seeds take 3-20 days to germinate at an ideal soil temperature of 12-18°C (55-65°F).

Stocks are highly susceptible to damping off. Sow on the surface of vermiculite under bright light, with some ventilation nearby. Water only from below. Pot on into sterilized potting soil once plants are large enough to handle, and space them in the garden at 15-23cm (6-9″) apart.

Moist, well-drained, fertile soil is best, with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Pinch out side shoots for taller plants. Crowding plants encourages earlier blooming. Water regularly and feed lightly every month.