How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Stock Flowers

The beauty and scent of stocks make them ideal for any garden. Easily grown from seed, pollinators enjoy these plants. This post by gardening expert Wendy Moulton teaches how to make beautiful stock flowers!  

1. Native Area

This species is native to Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Albania, Yugoslavia, Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. It is an invasive species in many countries but prefers temperate climates and biomes.  

2. Characteristic

Stocks are shrubs or subshrubs in nature but available as annuals or biennials worldwide. Late spring to mid-summer is peak blooming.  

3. Growing from Seed

To get the most out of the cooler weather, start planting in January or any other month before March.  

4. Transplanting

Depending on climate, transplant seedlings mid-March. If it's cold, cover them with hoops and frost cover, opening it if it's not freezing. Once reaching 32°F (0°C), they should be fine.  

5. Established Plants

Dig twice as deep and wide as the root mass of a flowering agapanthus plant you bought from a garden centre or other gardener. Backfill with soil or potting mix after placing the root mass in the hole with the plant's crown slightly above the earth.   

6. Light

If your summers are hot, they will do better in partial shade with morning sun and afternoon shade. Good blooms require at least 4 hours of light.  

7. Water

Keep the dirt wet all over. Putting mulch on top of the plants will help them stay cool. If you see that the top two inches of earth are dry, water it.  

8. Soil

When planting, stocks want rich organic compost. Add compost, a few handfuls of slow-release general fertiliser, or four pounds of Bio-tone Starter Plus Plant Food per 100 square feet to the soil eight to ten inches deep.  

9. Temperature

Like all brassicas, stocks favour cooler conditions. They shrivel in extreme summers. They like temperatures below 65°F (18°C). These are frost-resistant unless in extreme frost.  

10. Fertilizing

Garden-tone Organic Plant Food, used on brassicas, can be used on your stocks. From May to August, feed monthly at the recommended rate. Root rot can result from overfeeding stocks.  

11. Maintenance

Pinching out spring growth tips and deadheading spent flowers encourages bushier plants with additional flower spikes. Cut flower spikes near to the base to encourage more throughout the season.  

12. Propagation

Stock is best grown from seeds or seedlings. Let one or two flower stalks go to seed at the end of the season to harvest them for next year. 

Floral Separator

Also see

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Agapanthus