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A picture of a Stock


Matthiola incana

Also known as

Gillyflower, Brompton Stock, Queen stock, Hoary stock

Photo by RocknPoP (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

Stock Overview

M. incana - commonly known as Stocks - has many cultivars and is a perennial with narrow, grey-green foliage and a woody base. Flowers are borne on spikes of sweet-scented pink, mauve, purple, violet or white flowers which some say smell like cloves. Stocks are widely grown as annual or biennial bedding plants in gardens, and commercially as cut flowers. They make good additions to a sunny border and add colour from Spring to Summer in milder climates.

Common problems with Stock

Seedlings prone to damping off

Stock Companion Plants

Good companions are: Iris, rose, primrose, pansy, poppy, ornamental cabbage and kale.

How to harvest Stock

Flowers can be cut for the vase, pick when the first flowers on the stem have opened, the rest will continue to open.

How to propagate Stock


Sow seed early to mid summer in trays and plant our in early autumn. Use a standard seedling potting mix.


Semi-ripe cuttings in summer the sub-shrubs.

Special features of Stock

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Other uses of Stock

Walls, rock garden, fragrance, border, greenhouse, edging, container, cutting bed.

Cut flower

The tall varieties are grown on large scale for the cut flower industry.


The shorter or bedding varieties are grown for use in gardens.

Garden Biennials

A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's flowering cycle but worth the wait.

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Pink Flowering Summer Plants

Love pink flowers and looking for summer inspiration.

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