GardenersHQ

Catananche Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Catananche plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Blue Succory and Cupid's dart: Cultivation & Garden Use

Although plants of the Catananche genus are hardy perennials they are often grown as hardy annuals by gardeners.

They reach heights of about 30 cm (12 inches).

They flower from late in the spring and into the summer carrying daisy like purple flowers.

Other names for Catananche include Blue succory, Cupid's dart (Catananche caerulea), Cupidone and Catananche caerulea.

Cupids dart
Cupids dart by novciveglia.

Catananche caerulea
Catananche caerulea (Cupid's Dart) by Fireflies604.

Catananche Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Cupid's Dart, Cerverina, Blue Cupidone, Blue Succory, Yellow Succory.
Life Cycle: Short lived hardy perennial usually grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 12 inches (30 cm).
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae).
Native: Mediterranean.
Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.
Flowers: Late spring and summer.
Flower Details: Blue, purple, white. Daisy-like. Flowers sit atop long stems. Fringed petals.
Foliage: Silvery leaves.
Sow Outdoors: Cover seeds. Before last frost or late autumn in mild areas. Spacing 9 to 12 inches (22 to 30 cm).
Sow Indoors: Germination time: three weeks to one month. Temperature 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C). Six to eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Average soil. Drought tolerant. Cut back in autumn. Winter mulch. Divide in Spring in cold areas, or in autumn in warm areas. Root cuttings can be taken in winter.

How to Grow Blue succory - Catananche

If you plan to grow Blue succory outdoors from seeds, then they should be sown onto a soil with good drainage, and then covered. This should take place before the last frost of spring.

If you plan to start catananche seedlings off indoors then you should start them off about 8 weeks before they are due to be transplanted outside after the last frost of spring.

Germination usually takes about 3 or 4 weeks, and should be performed at a temperature of 18 to 24 degrees Celsius (64 ot 75°F).

Caring for Catananche Species in the Garden

As Catananche are perennials they should be cut back in the autumn, however you may prefer to treat the plant as an annual as they are short lived.

More seeds are easy to get as the plant selfs readily, alternatively you can take root cuttings towards the end of winter, or even divide the plant in the spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Catananche genus have?

The Catananche genus is small, containing only about six species, including the lovely Catananche caerulea, or Cupid's Dart.

Do members of Catananche make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Catananche species, especially Cupid's Dart, are great for sunny borders and cottage gardens, offering beautiful blue flowers.

Which Catananche species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Catananche caerulea (Cupid's Dart) is the most commonly grown species, loved for its blue, daisy-like flowers.

Are members of the Catananche plant genus fragrant?

Catananche species are not generally noted for their fragrance but are admired for their charming, blue or white flowers.

What is the perfect location to grow Catananche?

Catananche thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. They're drought-tolerant, making them good for rock gardens or sunny borders.

Is Catananche invasive in the USA?

Currently, Catananche is not considered invasive in the USA. It's a well-behaved plant that is often used in ornamental gardens.

How do I remove Catananche plants from my garden?

To remove Catananche, dig up the plant, making sure to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth.

Summary

The Catananche genus, part of the Asteraceae family, is native to the Mediterranean region. Also known as cupid's dart, these perennial plants are recognized for their narrow leaves and solitary, daisy-like blue or white flowers that bloom in summer.

To cultivate Catananche, plant them in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds or divisions.

Regular watering is necessary, but they are relatively drought-tolerant once established. They are often used in borders, wildflower gardens, or as cut or dried flowers for their striking blooms and long vase life.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Catananche plants. You may also enjoy the following Asteraceae AsteraceaeGardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Tidy Tips and Gaillardia plants.