Night Scented Stock - How to Care for Evening Stock Plant
Night scented stock is a common plant grown in gardens. It gained its popularity mostly for its exceptional scent, developed by the plant when it's in bloom. It's difficult to mistake it for an aroma of any different plant. Evening stocks are easy to take care of, so it's popular among inexperienced gardeners. Check its basic needs. Learn about the best varieties and discover the secrets of night scented stock care.
Night scented stock – plant’s origins and characteristics
Night scented stock is also known as evening stock, or Matthiola longipetala. Its Latin name was inspired by an Italian botanist, Pietro Mattiola who lived at the turn of the 16th century, and the Greek word “leukoion,” translated as ‘white violet.’
The plant grows naturally in regions of northern Africa, Greece, and Arabia. It’s a perfect plant for flower beds in home yards, but it can also be grown in containers – it’s a great addition to patios and balconies.
Night scented stocks grow from 20 to 40 cm (ca. 8-16 in) tall. Its leaves are grey-green. The flowers are the most noteworthy – their color is usually lavender-pink, and they have four petals. One can recognize them in the evening by the smell that spreads around.
The most popular night scented stock varieties
There are many varieties of evening stock, which gives you plenty of options for designing a garden with these flowers. The cultivars can be divided between the ones that develop multiple branches (multi-stem plants), and mono-stem varieties. The division also involves short and tall types.
Depending on the variety of night scented stock, one can expect not only different flower colors, but also varying heights the plants can maximally achieve.
The most beautiful types of mono-stem night scented stock from the Varsovia group:
The most famous cultivars of mono-stem evening stock from the Excelsior group:
The most popular multi-stem night-scented stocks include:
As estimated, there are over 30 different types of evening stock all over the world.
Are night scented stocks difficult to grow?
If you want to grow beautifully blooming night evening stocks, you need to make sure the plant has the best conditions. Full sun is the best location for the flower. Night scented stock can grow in shade, but it develops fewer flowers and is smaller in such a case. Also, make sure the flowers are shielded from strong wind blows.
The soil for evening stocks shouldn’t be too moist. A mix of sand and clay is the best option for the plant’s needs. Pay attention to the soil’s pH – it should be slightly acidic or alkaline.
When to sow night scented stock?
Schedule planting night scented stocks for the end of April. If you want the flowers to last for a longer period, sow portions of seeds in the span of 2-3 weeks. Thanks to this, you will be able to enjoy these brilliant flowers for longer.
Sowing the seeds in the ground should be carefully planned. Make sure to spread them in rows, with a spacing of 20 or 30 cm. When the plant begins to sprout and first seedlings appear, separate them leaving 10 cm gaps in between.
Night scented stock – watering frequency
Night scented stock, just like other flowers, requires regular watering. You can increase the amount of water during a dry period. But avoid situations in which water stands in the ground or the container. When watering the plant, make sure not to direct the stream onto the stems. Make the water fall straight to the ground.
Do night scented stocks need fertilizer?
Evening scented stocks, especially young flowers, require supplementation with essential minerals for their proper growth. Make sure to take care of it especially in May. Small doses of fertilizer strengthen the plant and prolong its blooming.
What kind of plant food do evening stocks prefer? You can use multipurpose fertilizer. Just make sure the product has been designed for flowering plants – the form doesn’t matter, it can be granulated or liquid.
Growing night scented stock – diseases and pests
Night scented stock is generally resistant to pests. Sometimes, the plant might get attacked by some unwanted guests such as aphids. Fortunately, these insects are fairly easy to handle. An adequate product against aphids is usually enough. Currently, flower shops offer natural products that won’t harm the plant.
Evening scented stock can also be attacked by the cabbage butterfly which lays its eggs in late summer, especially on young plants. After hatching, the larvae attack the plant’s leaves. Observing the plant is a very powerful way to get rid of this pest. As soon as you notice the larvae, pick and neutralize them. Some products from a flower shop might be useful.
Powdery mildew is one of the most common diseases affecting night scented stocks. It can be recognized by white powder on the leaves. Infected leaves have to be removed and destroyed. An antifungal product will also be necessary.
How much do night scented stock seeds cost?
Evening stock seeds can be purchased in any garden center, most DIY stores with a “garden” section, and sometimes supermarkets as well. Their price is exceptionally low, as they typically cost no more than $1.
If you don’t want to grow night scented stocks from seeds, seedlings are a good option. They can be purchased in plant nurseries. One plant costs $1-$3. A lot depends on the variety.
📍 What does night scented stock look like?
Evening stock is a very common plant. It's popular because of its appearance and beautiful smell. It has small flowers with four petals. Furthermore, it has different colors depending on the variety. The flowers grow in loose bunches.
📍 How do night scented stocks grow?
Evening stock grows up to 40 cm tall. A properly developing plant has many branches. The stems slightly lean towards the ground. The leaves are narrow and lanceolate.
📍 Why won't my evening stocks bloom?
The lack of blooming might be caused by improper growing conditions. Night scented stocks need full sun. Note that if planted in half-shade, its blooming ability gets limited. In shade, the plant might not bloom at all.
📍 When do night scented stocks bloom?
Evening scented stock blooms from the beginning of April. If grown in a garden, the flowers might last until the end of July. When planted in a good location, it amazes with various colors – they depend on the cultivar.
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