Five Spot is a low-growing hardyfrom California, valued for its attractively marked white . Each of the five petals is finely veined with purple and carries a deep purple blotch on its margin.
In the wild it tends to creep over the surface of the ground, and is often found growing at the edge of woodland, usually in full sunlight.
The growing tips point upwards towards the sun, and the saucer-shaped flowers are borne at the end of the shoots, making a brilliant carpet of strong colour.
N. menziesii, popularly called Baby Blue-Eyes, has bright blue flowers with a white centre and feathery, light green. It grows to about 20cm (8in) and the flowers are larger than those of Five Spot.
For a cool look, grow in a window-box with white-flowered plants.
You can grow Five Spot quite easily from seed. Autumn sowings will produce plants that start flowering in the spring. Spring sown plants will flower during the summer.
1 Sow thein September or March in or seed trays, or where they are to flower. Use a mix of 3 parts soil-based corn-
post and I part grit or coarse sand. Cover thewith a light sprinkling of .
2 Water well and keep themoist. When the are large enough to handle, thin out to about 15cm (bin) apart.
3 For pot plants, pot up 3 young plants in a 13cm )Sin) pot. Autumn sowings flower in late spring.
Pests And Diseases
As long as they are given plenty of fresh air, sunshine and water, Five Spot plants are generally trouble-free.
Distorted leaves and shoots and a sticky deposit are signs of attack by. Usually only plants grown indoors, in greenhouses or conservatories, will be attacked. Treatment: Spray the plant with a suitable . If possible, give your plant a spell outdoors in the sunshine.
This is a very easy plant to care for, provided it is given a sunny.
- : Pot seedlings in the spring using 3 parts soil-based compost and 1 part coarse sand.
- Water generously during spring and summer. Keep overwintered seedlings just moist.
- Feeding: Feed from March to September every 2 weeks with a standard liquid fertilizer.
BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT
- Light: Give Five Spot as much sun as possible.
- Temperature: In summer these Californian plants will enjoy the hottest conditions you can give them. Young plants overwintered should be protected from frost during the winter.
- Commercially raised plants are sometimes offered for sale in the spring, with other bedding plants, at large garden centres and nurseries.
- Choose healthy, compact plants with an abundance of flower buds.
- Five Spot is an , and should be discarded after it has flowered.
Produced over a long period in spring or summer, the white saucer-shaped flowers with their distinctive purple blotches make Five Spot a prime choice for sunny positions.