These are small plants are easy to grow in any space. Most other fragrant alternatives, beautiful as they are, need a bit of room to spread their scent. Phlox grow tall in a border, sweet peas climb up supports and jasmine and honeysuckle scramble all over the place! Stocks are quite happy at a low level in the front of a border intent on their scent.
The Brompton stocks are classic and well known, with dense spikes of double flowers. Easy to grow and tolerant of coastal conditions. The colours are soft and romantic in pinks, purples and whites. Planted near pathways or in pots in a sunny position, they are a gardener's dream. They also make blissful cut flowers. Being biennial, you plant seed one year for flowering the next. Our Sweetly Scented Mix is perfect and with 200 seeds, you'll be overflowing with fragrance.
For something more subtle in flower but as punchy in scent, the night-scented stocks are sublime. The delicate masses of lilac flowers are their sweetest in the evening. They make a perfect night time companion of Nicotiana. Direct sow seed in a sunny spot in spring for flower June-September. These are very pollinator friendly plants, especially to nocturnal moths (link to pollinator’s piece). Stocks are members of the cabbage family - members of which share four petalled cross shaped flowers. (Scent is where the stocks leave the cabbage plant behind!).
Another delicate version, still nasally delightful, are the Virginia stocks. These are probably the easiest to grow and perfect to fill nooks and crevices around your garden. They are quick to mature after direct sowing and before long are
engulfing your space with clouds of pink, purple and white.
All stock plants are cottage garden plant favourites and well worth the scented investment.
Where to grow Stock Plants?
- Full sun in a sheltered position
- Well-drained soil is essential
- Stock plants do not like an acid soil
How to grow Stock plants?
When planting out Stock plug plants;
- Each plug will need an individual hole big enough for the stem to be buried
- dig individual holes for each plant large enough for the roots of the plug to be covered
- Firm the compost gently around the base of the plug whilst ensuring the stem and leaves remain above the top layer.
- Grow on in a light place at a temperature of 16°C (60°F).
Buy Stock plug plants from Suttons