Love-in-a-Mist is an enchanting flower for tubs orand looks best when grown in large , with the appearing through a mass of feathery foliage.
The bright greenare finely cut, and from a distance resemble a haze or mist of green. It is this that is partly responsible for the more popular of the plant’s common names. It is also sometimes known as Devil-in-a-Bush and Love-in-a-Puzzle.
sown in the spring will flower from July to August, and sometimes into September. Remove the dead flowers initially, but leave the later ones on to form pods if you want to dry them.
Love-in-a-Mist is a medium-sized hardythat grows to a maximum height of 60cm (24in).
The pretty double flowers are about 38mm (1½in) across. Seed pods are about 25mm (1 in) in length.
Colours and forms
The most frequently-grown form is Nigella damascene ‘Miss Jekyll Blue’, which has large bright blue flowers. There is also a mixed form, ‘Persian Jewels Mixed’, with semi-double flowers that are white, pink and shades of blue and purple.
Although it is very attractive when planted on its own, Love-in-a-Mist makes a good companion plant for Mignonette.
Growing from seed
Sow thein March, in tubs, window-boxes or other containers in which you want them to flower. Alternatively, if you can give the protection in winter, for example by covering with a cloche, you can the seed in September for early flowers the following spring.
1 Use a rich well-drained soil-based. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the surface of the and cover them with a thin layer.
2 When the seeds have germinated and theare large enough to handle, thin them out to 18-23cm (7-9in) apart.
3 You should water regularly in dry weather, but there is no need to.
If you want to use the seed pods in dried flower, leave the plants undisturbed after the last flowers have faded, so that the seed capsules, or pods, can develop. When the pods have swollen, you can either pull up the whole plant, or cut the carrying the pods. Tie the together towards their ends and hang the pods upside down in a dry place.
Once the plants are completely dry, arrange them on their own in a suitable, or mix them with other dried flowers. Take care to handle them carefully, as they are rather fragile.
Pests And Diseases
Love-in-a-Mist is a hardy plant that is not usually prone to disease or attacked by pests.
Weak growth and a sticky substance onand stems are signs of , which excrete honeydew. They can be more of a problem in some years than in others. Treatment: Keep an eye on your plants to prevent serious attacks. In particular, examine flower buds and young shoots, the ’s favourite hiding places. In minor attacks, spray the plants with a strong stream of water. For more serious cases, use an containing pyrethrum.
Once the seeds have germinated, the plant will almost look after itself. Remove dead flowers to improve the quality of successive ones.
- : Sow seeds in a nourishing soil-based potting compost where you want them to flower. There is no need to repot.
- Water regularly during the spring and summer as necessary. Plants grown in small containers should be watered daily in hot weather.
- Feeding: As long as you have provided your plants with a nourishing compost, there is no need to feed them.
BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT
- Light: Grow in an open in full sun.
- Temperature: It will thrive in normal summer temperatures — 18-24°C (65-75°F), but will die down with the first autumn frosts.
- Buy seed in spring for outdoors in
- March. Bedding plants are sometimes available from garden centres and nurseries.
- Only buy seed that is packaged for the current year. If buying bedding plants, choose those with good bushy growth.
An, it will die in the autumn, but seed pods can be collected and dried for winter use. If left undisturbed, seeds from unpicked pods may germinate in the spring.
An old cottage-garden favourite, Love-in-a-Mist produces sky-blue flowers surrounded by thin feathery bracts. The flowers are followed by decorative papery seed pods.