Mathiola – stock

This group of highly scented flowering: plants is available as annuals,: biennials and perennials. They are: used as bedding plants in cottage-: style gardens, and in containers. The: flowers are suitable for cutting.:

Suitable site and soil. Plant in sun or partial shade with good drainage and in slightly alkaline soil.

Cultivation and care. Stake tall plants in open sites. Cover biennials in winter and fertilize soil around them in spring.

Propagation. Depending on variety treat as hardy annuals, half hardy in winter or as biennials.

Recommended varieties. Most garden hybrids derive from M. incana. Ten Week stock can be dwarf or tall with large flowers and comes in a wide range of colours, including pastel pinks, white, crimson, lavender and yellow. ‘Giant Imperial’ comes in burnished shades of copper, yellow and gold. ‘Mammoth Column’ grows to 75cm – 2’ – 2ft and in summer has tall flowers, which are good for cutting, in mixed or single colours. Brompton stocks grow to 45cm – 18in, have double and single flowers in pink, red, white, purple and creamy yellow. East Lothian stocks are bushy and grow to 30cm – lft in a similar colour range. Trysomic and Selectable Double strains are fairly bushy and regularly produce double flowers. Trysomics are earliest to flower. For delicious evening perfume, grow the hardy annual M. bicornis (night-scented stock); its lilac-grey or purple flowers remain closed during the day but open at night.

Pests and diseases. Prone to aphids, club root and mildew.


Pick winning doubles from selectable variety seedlings. Those with pale leaves will produce double flowers. Those with dark leaves have single flowers. They are also early flowering.

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