Expect sturdy, well-branched plants that produce an abundance of early bright, fragrant flowers. 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. Annual flowers that are sometimes listed as Gillyflowers. Follow the how to grow stocks instructions and grow some wonderful cut flowers in summer.
Matthiola longipetala (syn. M. bicornis, also Cheiranthus longipetalus)
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 very 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.