Centranthus ground cover is a hardy and versatile cottage garden wildflower favourite perennial that is incredibly easy to grow. They look best grown en-masse on banks, or when allowed to self-seed between the cracks in walls and paving. Very long flowering, these super perennial plants form a handsome, bushy mound, with succulent-like, mid-green leaves that contrast beautifully with the vibrant flowers. They are perfect for a wildflower garden, attracting bees and butterflies and other pollinating insects galore.
Dense clusters of colourful frothy flowers will appear from late Spring to late Autumn on tall, gently arching fleshy stems with grey-green leaves. Centranthus (Valerian) ground cover flowers are scented and are a wonderful addition to any garden as they complement numerous other plants such as grasses, Nepeta or Scabious, or plant them for additional colour under taller plants or ornamental trees. They also look lovely when used as a cut flower. Deadheading will encourage a second flush of flowers, and in warmer areas plants they can be encouraged to keep blooming until November!
Centranthus grows best in full sun or partial shade and in any soil that doesn’t become waterlogged in winter.
As a rough guide when planting Centranthus as ground cover – 4 plants per square metre is adequate with a little patience, 6 will give better coverage, and 9-12 will make a weed supressing carpet very quickly.
Types of Centranthus Ground Cover
How to grow Centranthus ground cover plants
Position: Full sun, partial shade
Soil and site: Well-drained – almost any soil except waterlogged
Flowering time: Late Spring to late Autumn
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: Height 50 to 100cm, spread 10cm to 50cm
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: In early Spring cut back the previous years’ growth to ground level