Plant and care for the spurflower

Plant and care for the spurflower

Plant spurflower properly

Late summer is considered to be the ideal planting time for fully grown young shrubs. Before starting work, put the still potted root balls in water. In the meantime, the loose, sandy-humic to fresh soil in the sunny location is weeded and raked. At a distance of 45 to 50 cm, you dig spacious planting holes that are 1.5 times the volume of the root ball. Mix some ripe compost, horn shavings (€ 6.39 on Amazon *) or guano (€ 10.44 on Amazon *) into the excavation. If the soil doesn't seem loose enough, a handful of sand will compensate for it. Plant the potted Centranthus so that the previous planting depth is preserved and water. Ideally, the planting site can now be mulched with gravel or grit, (12,80 € at Amazon *) which keeps the soil warm longer and promotes root growth.

also read

  • Cut the spurflower correctly
  • Propagate the spurflower in the garden yourself
  • The spurflower in the garden: fully hardy?

Care tips

A look at the care program of a Centranthus proves its modest character. If the perennial finds the right location, proper cultivation is limited to the following measures:

  • Water spurflowers in the morning or evening when it is dry
  • An organic start fertilization in April / May is advantageous, but not mandatory
  • A and O of care is to cut back by a third after the first flower pile
  • Following the pruning, further fertilization promotes the re-flowering
  • Cut close to the ground either in autumn or early spring

In the first two years it makes sense to pile up the root disc with leaves, straw or sticks. Once the frost resistance has developed, winter protection can be dispensed with in the following years.

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Which location is suitable?

The Mediterranean Centranthus feels at home in sunbeds that are warm and protected. In summer it should be at least 6 hours of sunshine that stroke the lush panicles of flowers. In addition, the spurflower favors a sandy-dry to fresh soil that has first-class water drainage.

The correct planting distance

Due to the broad bushy habit, the planting distance of a Centranthus must not be too tight. In the best case, the distance to the neighboring bed should be between 45 and 50 cm so that the flowers do not press each other. If the spurflower plants a larger area, we recommend an arrangement of 4 to 5 specimens per square meter, ideally not in rows.

What soil does the plant need?

Where the spurflower settles down uninvited and yet warmly welcomed, it gives preference to sandy-dry to fresh-moist soil. Choose a sunny location with a humus, loose and well-drained soil. The Centranthus does not make any unusual demands on the pH value, as long as it is in the neutral to alkaline range.

When is the flowering time?

Mother nature endowed the spurflower with the ability to re-bloom. The main bloom extends from June to August. Then cut the Centranthus back by a third and put a little compost on the roots, it will start up again for another flower pile from September.

Cut the spurflower correctly

In the context of successful cultivation of spurflowers, cutting and flowering time are closely related. If you cut back a Centranthus by a third after the main bloom in August, fresh buds will form and bloom in September. If this second bloom runs out of breath before the first frost, cut the perennial back close to the ground. In this way, the plant will find enough time to gather new strength before the next year's shoot, instead of investing its energy in seed formation.

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Watering the spurflower

The modest Centranthus is usually satisfied with the rainfall. In dry summers, however, it makes sense to water the spurflower. In the morning or in the evening, pour the irrigation water directly onto the root disc using the spout. If the delicate flower panicles are irrigated under sunlight, every single drop of water is transformed into a magnifying glass that destroys the petals.

Fertilize the spurflower properly

It is not absolutely necessary to add fertilizer to spurflowers. Nevertheless, the perennial gratefully accepts an organic start fertilization in April / May. Put compost, horn shavings, bark humus or guano granulate on the root disc to easily rake in the material. It is an advantage for re-flowering if you repeat this measure after pruning in summer.


As the frost hardiness of a Centranthus only develops over time, we recommend light winter protection in the first two years of standing. After pruning in autumn, spread a layer of autumn leaves, brushwood or straw over the root disc. As soon as there is no more freezing frost in early spring, the protective layer is removed so that budding is not hindered.

Propagate spurflower

You can leave the further distribution to a Centranthus without further ado, because it reproduces without ceasing by self-sowing. In this case, do not prune the plant back in autumn, but do the pruning in January / February. For targeted offspring, the only thing available in the hobby garden is cultivation behind glass, since division or cuttings usually do not work.

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How do I transplant properly?

Since the Centranthus develops a strong, fleshy taproot as a valerian plant, it does not survive a change of location. Since it is difficult to avoid damaging the deeply reaching roots when transplanting, we advise against this measure. This is accompanied by the fact that rejuvenation or division of the perennial is rarely crowned with success.

Is it poisonous?

As a subfamily of the valerian family, the Centranthus is one of the harmless perennials. No questionable substances flow through the delicate plant veins, so that the spurflower is ideal for cultivation in the family garden. Even the red spurflower (Centranthus ruber) used as a medicinal herb contains neither essential oils nor alkaloids.


The red spurflower (Centranthus ruber) contains a herbal active ingredient that has given it the nickname “herb of immortality”. The plant species contains up to 5% valepotriate, more than real medicinal valerian has to offer. This plant substance is said to have a balancing effect. The medicinal herb has a sedating effect on fluttering nerves, while it awakens the spirits when tired. The magic leaves are consumed as tea or fresh in a salad.

Nice varieties

  • Albus: The robust variety sets itself in scene with bright white flowers from June to September
  • Rose red: Fairytale Centranthus, whose light red flowers magically harmonize with the white blooming Albus
  • Coccineus: Premium varieties, whose carmine-red umbels add magical splashes of color in the garden
  • Small spurflower: A compact Centranthus with pink flowers and a graceful habit