How to Grow Centaurium Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Centaury, Mountain Pink, and Canchalagua

Centaurium genus plants are low growing hardy annuals that reach up to 20 cm (8 inches) in height.

They are known by the common names of Canchalagua, Mountain Pink and Centaury.

They flower in the summer with red of pink flowers and make ideal species for rockeries or for growing in borers.

Centaurium erythraea
Centaurium erythraea by Didier.bier

Centaurium littorale
Centaurium littorale - Seaside Centaury by Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden

Centaurium Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Centaury, Mountain Pink, Canchalagua.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial usually grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 2 to 10 inches (5 to 25 cm).
Native: Asia, Australasia, Europe, Americas.

Growing Region: Zones 1 to 9.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Pink, red. Five or six petals. Many flowers per inflorescence.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Triangular. Basal rosette.

Sow Outdoors: Cover. Germination time: three to nine weeks. In warm areas sow in early spring or autumn, all other areas sow following the last frost. Spacing: 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm).
Sow Indoors: No.

Requirements: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Sandy soil. Light soil.
Family: Gentianaceae.
Miscellaneous: Genus now split into four: Centaurium; Gyrandra; Schenkia and Zeltnera.

How to Grow Canchalagua - Centaurium Plants

When growing Canchalagua outdoors from seed,they should be sown in a partially shaded part of the garden into a light sandy soil in the middle of spring.

First sow the Centaurium seeds onto the soil surface, then lightly cover.

The seeds normally take about three to eight weeks to germinate and should be spaced at a distance of 20 to 30 cm apart (8 to 12 inches).

Common Questions

How many members does the Centaurium genus have?

The Centaurium genus includes around 40 species.

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

Centaurium, like Centaurium erythraea (Common Centaury), can add a splash of color to rock gardens or meadows with their pink flowers.

Which Centaurium species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The Centaurium erythraea (Common Centaury) is a popular choice among gardeners for its charming pink blooms.

Are members of the Centaurium plant genus fragrant?

Centaurium plants are not typically known for having a fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Centaurium?

Centaurium prefers sunny spots with dry, well-drained soil. It's an excellent plant for rock gardens or sunny meadows.

Is Centaurium invasive in the USA?

Presently, Centaurium is not known to be invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Centaurium plants from my garden?

Remove Centaurium by pulling up the entire plant, ensuring to get all the roots to prevent regrowth.


The Centaurium genus, also known as centaury, belongs to the Gentianaceae family, native to various regions around the world. These annual or biennial herbs are known for their clusters of star-shaped, pink flowers that bloom in summer.

To grow Centaurium, plant them in full sun to light shade, in well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds sown in late spring or early summer. Regular watering is necessary, but they are quite hardy and can tolerate dry conditions once established. They are often used in rock gardens or as ground cover.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Centaurium plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to Grow Eustoma plants.