Maltese, also referred to as maltese cross (Lychnis chalcedonica), is a perennial plant that is indigenous to Russia. Maltese has attractive silvery-green, hairy foliage and grows to about 2 to 3 feet in height. The flowers of maltese are an unusual, rose-red to magenta color and are about 1/2 inch in diameter. Maltese are known for being tolerant to a wide variety of soils and are particularly attractive when planted in masses along borders or in rock gardens. Plant maltese in full sun, to partial shade and provide it with fertile, loamy soil.
Planting Maltese Seeds
Place seed raising compost into planting cells until the growing media is within 1/2 inch from the top of the cells.
Pack the growing media down until it's well compacted. You can use the back of a metal spoon or a block of wood to do this.
Sprinkle the maltese seeds across the surface of the soil in the planting cells. To do this, use your thumb and index finger to grab a pinchful of maltese seeds. Push the maltese seeds into the growing media using the back of a spoon, or the tips of your fingers.
Place the planting cells into polythene bags and seal the bags closed. Or cover them with clear plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap does not touch the growing media.
Put the planting cells into a bright, warm spot in your home. Try and give the planting cells from 8 to 10 hours of light a day. The temperature should be in the 70 to 75 degrees F range. Keep the growing media moistened when necessary, open the plastic bags to mist the surface of the soil with water. Germination of maltese seeds can begin in about 3 to 4 weeks.
Remove the plastic wrap once the maltese seeds begin to germinate. Transplant the maltese seedlings when they are about 2 to 3 inches tall. You can plant them directly into your garden, or into larger containers.
Transplanting Maltese Seedlings
Dig up the planting area and turn the soil over to a depth of 6-8 inches. Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of grass clippings, rotted manure, or compost over the cultivated area then mix it into the soil thoroughly using a garden fork or a shovel.
Create planting holes for your maltese seedlings. Try and dig out each hole so that it is about twice the diameter of a planting cell and approximately its same depth. For planting a bed of maltese, such as along a border, space each of the holes 12-15 inches apart.
Push upwards from the bottom of a planting cell to remove a maltese seedling. Set the maltese seedling into one of the previously dug holes. Check to make sure the maltese seedling is not sitting too deep in the hole. Scoop in a little garden soil using a trowel until the hole is about half full. Then, pack the soil down gently around the maltese seedling.
Pour water into the hole using a slow stream of water until the hole is full of water. Scoop in soil to fill the hole full after all the water has drained away.
About this Author
Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.