The Matthiola plant genus comprises of bushy plants that reach heights of between 30 and 75 cm (12 to 30 inches).
They can be either hardy annuals, biennials or perennials.
Matthiola incana - Hoary Stock by Phil Sellen, Creative Commons.
Flowering is from the end of spring through summer. The plants carry thickly clustered flowers of red, purple, bluem or white that sit atop a spike.
In addition to their attractive looking flowers, Matthiola are also grown for their pleasent aroma.
Matthiola longipetala - Evening Scented Stocks by Greengardenvienna, CC.
Some of the common names for Matthiola include Stock, Evening stock, Brompton stock, Gillyflower, and Night Scented stock.
Matthiola incana 'Harmony Purple' photograph by 阿橋 HQ CC.
Foliage of Matthiolabicornis plant seedlings, photograph by Salicyna, CC.
Matthiola longipetala (Night-scented stock / Evening stock), photograph by Patrick Alexander; CC.
Matthiola fruticulosa (Sad stock / Dark-flowered stock), picture by jacinta lluch valero; CC.
Matthiola sinuata (Sea stock), Image by Val Def; CC.
Common Names: Stock, Brompton stock, Perfume Plant, Gillyflower, . Stock: Annual; Hoary; Tenweeks; Evening; Night scented; Sad; Sea.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual, hardy annual. Hardy biennial. Hardy perennial.
Height: 10 to 40 inches (25 to 100 cm).
Native: Mediterranean, Asia, Southern Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 10. UK Hardiness: H4 (-10°C / 14°F)
Blooms: Spring and summer.
Flower Details: Red, white, blue, violet, purple, pink. Clustered. Raceme. Spikes. Fragrant.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Silvery-green.
When growing stock outdoors from seeds, you should sow on the surface following the last frost of spring.
Alternatively, in mild areas you can do autumn sowing of stock. This will result in spring blooms the following year.
Stock plant likes to grow in sunny areas of the garden that have good drainage, and a slightly alkaline and moist soil.
You can start to grow Stock indoors first. The annual and perennial varieties of Matthiola should be started about 7 or 8 weeks before the last frost of spring. Biennials stock should be started off in the summer.
It usually takes around one to three weeks for plants to germinate. Ideally Matthiola plants should be sown in vermiculite and watered from below. They will germinate if grown in the light at a temperature of 12 to 18 degrees centigrade (53 to 64°F).
Once ready, transplant annual and perennial stock out to the garden in mid spring or autumn. Transplant biennial stock in the autumn.
They should be spaced from 15 to 45 cm (6 to 18 inches) apart, depending upon the stock variety.
Matthiola Care: Once established in the garden, pinch the young stock (Matthiola) plant shoots back to encourage taller growth.
It is best to have the plants located close together to increase the amount of blooming.
Matthiola plants are easy to look after, water regularly, and feed once a month.
If you require more plants then the perennials can be propagated by taking cuttings in the summer.