Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate (Persicaria orientalis), also called Prince’s Feather, is an old-fashioned annual flowering plant that Thomas Jefferson loved to grow in his Monticello gardens. It grows as tall as 4 feet and sports an array of small pendulous pink flowers all summer and into the fall. Its heart-shaped leaves add to its attractiveness, and it adds color and beauty to flower arrangements. You can grow Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate successfully in all climate zones if you have a spot with partial to full sun and rich soil.
Select an area next to a fence, wall or trellis to give the plant support when it gets large. In fall, before you plant, dig compost into your planting area.
Scatter seeds over your planting area in fall and then pat them down with your palm. They will sprout and begin to grow the following spring—these seeds require cold weather to germinate, so fall is the best time to plant them.
Water the area thoroughly and then keep it moist. If you spread a layer of compost as mulch, it will help to keep weeds away and will also help to keep the soil moist.
Thin seedlings to about 1 foot apart in the spring when they are 3 to 4 inches tall.
Stake your plants when they become tall and start to flower if they begin to droop from the weight of the flower stalks.
Things You Will Need
- Purchased or collected seeds
- Your Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate will self-sow under most conditions, making it an instant addition to next year's annual garden.
- If you want to collect seeds for planting the following season, chill them at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below for three months because they need cold to make them germinate. You can use your refrigerator or keep the seeds in a cold place such as your garage.
- Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate makes a nice dried flower. To dry flower stalks, simply hang them upside down for one to two weeks in a warm, dark, dry, well-ventilated area.
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