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A double-flowered stock.

A double-flowered stock.

Matthiola incana


  • A biennial, produced from seed. Seed germinates readily.
  • For tunnel production, sow in seedling trays. Seedlings reach transplant stage in 30 to 50 days.


  • Plants require cold (50 to 55 F) to initiate flowers.
  • In early varieties, that cold treatment can start at the 2-leaf stage. In late varieties, cold sensitivity may not start until more than 10 leaves are formed.
  • Duration of cold needed: 2 weeks for early, 3 weeks or more for late varieties.
  • Late varieties may fail to flower, and produce only leaves if transplanted in late spring into the high tunnel.
  • Plants are frost-hardy, so this crop should be one of the earliest planted in the high tunnel to satisfy the cold requirement for flowering.
  • Spacing in beds: 4 x 4 to 6 x 6 in.
  • Transplants set out in the tunnel in early April should flower about a month later.
  • Plants tend to lodge soon after transplanting. Support them with 1 layer of horizontal netting.


  • Unless specified, most varieties of Stock will produce a mix of plants with attractive double flowers, or less desirable single blooms.
  • Some of these varieties can be sorted into double and single types by growing the seedlings at about 40 F for a week, shortly after they have emerged. The double-flowering plants will turn yellow; the single-flowering stay green.
  • Some varieties with nearly all doubles have been developed, but so far none with dark colors. These have performed well for us:
    • Cheerful series: all double, low requirement for cold for flowering.
    • Katz series: early, 50% single, selectable.
    • Lucinda series: mid-season, 50% single, selectable, reduced flowering in late spring plantings.
    • Prousse series: mid-season, 50% single, selectable, reduced flowering in late spring plantings.

Postharvest Handling:

  • Flowers have strong, spicy scent.
  • Vase life is usually 7 to 10 days in water at room temperature.
  • Thick, woody stems make harvest and arranging a challenge.

For more information, see: Armitage, A.M. and J.M. Laushman. 2003. Specialty Cut Flowers, 2nd Edition. Timber Press, 586 pp. Available through ASCFG.

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