Grow Early-Blooming Agrostemma for Pretty Cut Flowers   

Rosy purple Agrostemma flowerswith white center and dotted lines radiating from the center.
Agrostemma flowers

Agrostemma githago ‘Milas’  
Common names: corn cockle, Agrostemma rose

Home » Grow Agrostemma for Early Cut Flowers and Dried Pods   

Agrostemma is a pretty, willowy plant with rosy purple flowers with dotted markings that lure in pollinators. It flowers in late spring to early summer, while it’s still cool. The bloom period doesn’t last long, but the cut flowers have a good vase life of at least a week, usually more.

And once flowering is done unharvested flowers yield cute little pods on long stems that are nice for dried arrangements.

Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds. Pollinated by moths, butterflies, and bees.

Agrostemma plants and flowers

The plants get 2-3 ft. tall and are easy to grow. Since they bloom in late spring, they’re one of the flowers to plant in fall, winter, or very early spring. See more on that below in ‘How to Grow’.

The foliage is a little fuzzy, giving the pale green foliage a whitish cast. The flowers are trumpet-shaped, with dotted lines that lead to the center, inviting pollinators.

There are three varieties of Agrostemma ‘Purple Queen’, white ‘Ocean Pearls’, and pink ‘Pink Contessa’.

How to grow Agrostemma

Willowy plant Agrostemma plant with rosy purple trumpet shaped flowers.
Agrostemma plant blooming.
Top view of Agrostemma plant with flowers and buds opening
Agrostemma with flowers and buds.

Annual; Full sun, tolerates some shade; Average water; Good garden soil.

These are annual plants so you need to sow them every year. You can direct sow, which is best, or some nurseries carry plant starts. But the plants grow biggest and have a longer bloom period when they’re directly sown into the soil.  And they’re very easy to sow.

Plant the seeds very early in fall, winter, or very early spring. Read my page about very early seed sowing here. When to plant is fairly flexible. Agrostemma grows best in cool weather, so May might be when it blooms for you, or for more northern climes, mid-summer may be when it blooms.

Seeds should be planted ⅛ in. deep. Thin to space them 6-9 in. apart when they’re about an inch tall.

They take 70 – 85 days to bloom. This is a long time and if they’re planted later in the season, their bloom time shortens, giving fewer flowers. So sow the seeds as early as you can. In a mild winter climate sow in late fall to late winter. In colder climates sow as soon as soil can be worked.

Some sources suggest successively sowing to extend the harvest. But for a home garden it’s just as well to enjoy their early bloom and leave some space for all the other flowers you can grow.

When you’re finished harvesting, leave some flowers to allow the seed pods to form—for seeds and for nice little pods that are good for dried arrangements.

If you leave the pods on the pants, you’re likely to get them to reseed themselves for next year.

How to harvest the flowers

Cut the stems down to a node or longer. The first flowers to open are below the other buds on the stem. Those buds and they’re long stems, that are above the open flowers, add a nice willowy appearance in arrangements. These are not cut and come again flowers. Use regular post-harvest handling.

Mixed bouquet of flowers with Agrostemma flowers and willowy bud stems.
Mixed bouquet of flowers with Agrostemma, snapdragons, painted daisies, and Alstroemerias. Agrostemma’s willowy bud stems are sticking out for a nice effect.

Favorite varieties

My favorite is ‘Purple Queen’. The white is ‘Ocean Pearls’, and there is a pink, ’Pink Contessa’. I haven’t tried the pink and I think the white is nice. But the purple is just so appealing and seems to always win everyone’s heart.

Sources for Agrostemma plants and seeds


Johnny’s Seeds

Select Seeds: ‘Purple Queen’ and ‘Ocean Pearls’

Renee’s Seeds: ‘Purple Queen’ and ‘Pink Contessa’


Annie’s Annual & Perennials: the purple ‘Milas’ variety

Flowers to go with Agrostemma flowers

Pale pink and dark rose-pink daisies

Painted Daisies

Nice big daisies in shades of pink to whites go nicely with Agrostemma flowers in late spring.

Alstroemeria flowers in a variety of pinks


These flowers start their bloom just before Agrostemma does. And they’re as tall, and last as long, too.

Bouquet of snapdragons and greenery


With the right varieties you’ll have tall flowers to arrange with Agrostemma. Long-lasting, too.

Bouquet with a large daisy with tiny daisies behind it.

Shasta Daisies

These tall perennial flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. Some have nice tall stems.

Feverfew: small white daisies in a bouquet


Here’s another tall stemmed, long-lasting flower for an arrangement to go with Agrostemma.

Sulfur yellow yarrow with a butterfly on it

‘Moonshine’ Yarrow

This variety of yarrow blooms in the spring and to add a bright yellow in arrangements.

Get my newest flower pages and how-to articles in your inbox with my monthly newsletter. I value you as a reader, I won’t send you any spam.

Agrostemma flowers in a mixed bouquet.
Agrostemma with carnations, peach-leafed bellflower, Persian cress, and ‘Moonshine’ yarrow