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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
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Plant of the Week: Love in a Mist

This week's Plant of the Week is Love in a Mist (Nigella damascena), a great blue flowered addition to the landscape. As gardeners know, blue is not a common color in flowers, so this flowering annual is a great choice.

Love in a mist can be easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. This annual flower is best started from seed directly in the garden as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. I started seed in multiple spots around my garden this spring with good success. Seed can be started indoors, but this plant doesn't transplant well so it's best to direct sow into the garden.

The blooms of love in a mist trive in cool weather and decline a bit in the hot summer months. The flowers and seed heads are definitely the best qualities of this plant. The solitary blue flowers sit atop stems with finely-cut, thread-like leaves. Each solitary flower appears to sit on a bed of lacy (and misty) foliage, hence the common name. If other colors are desired, cultivars (some with double flowers) come in additional flower colors including white, pink, rose, violet and purple.

Flowers then give way to unusual, egg-shaped, horned seed capsules (to 1” diameter) that are covered with bristles. These seed capsules can be dried very easily and are a great addition to dried arrangements.

If some seeds are left on the plant then this annual tends to easily self seed and come back from seed the next year.

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