Love-In-A-Mist - Garden Basics - Flower - Annual

(Nigella damascena)

Love-In-A-MistThis charming, old-fashioned plant is at home in cottage gardens. During very hot weather the plant will produce fewer flowers, but the light, airy foliage bears up well. The foliage adds a delicate touch to hanging baskets, and makes a nice edging when combined with silver foliage plants such as lamb's ear or dusty miller. Love-in-a-mist self-seeds readily, and is likely to pop up in unexpected parts of the garden. Cut flowers are long-lasting if the foliage from the lower part of the stem is removed, and the seedpods make interesting dried material for arrangements. Cut the seedpods while they are still green for drying, or allow them to dry on the plant. The two most popular cultivars are 'Miss Jekyll' which is shown above and 'Persian Jewels' which blooms in shades of rose-pink, light blue, or white.

Love-in-a-mist is a relative of the buttercup, and has been in cultivation for over 400 years. The seeds are aromatic and have been used in eastern countries by both cooks and physicians. Seeds and leaves are used in India to prevent moth damage to clothing.

Sow seeds outdoors in fertile, well-drained soil as soon as the ground can be worked. Choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of sun each day. Gardeners in milder climates can sow seeds in October and overwinter the plants. Germination takes 10-25 days. Transplants are not usually successful because of the plant's long taproot.

Thin seedlings to about six inches apart and feed regularly for best results. Water the plants deeply during dry spells. Expect flowers about three months after seeding. Flowers last only a month or two, but you can seed successively for a longer flowering season. The foliage looks good in the garden even when the plant is not in bloom, and the attractive seedpods add interest after flowering.

  • Type
  • Propagation
  • Light
  • Flower Color
    usually blue, also pink, lavender and purple
  • Bloom Time
    spring and early summer
  • Height
    14-20 inches
  • Width
    6-12 inches
  • Soil Requirements
    well drained, fertile
  • Zones
    does not bloom well in very hot climates
  • Uses
    window boxes, hanging baskets, planters, mass plantings, borders, between shrubs, dries well.

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