Organic Nigella love-in-a-mist
Nigella, Love in a mist: Nigella damascena
- Blue, pink, and white headed flower
- Great for balcony planting, patio pots and cut flowers.
- Sow: February (indoors), After the last frost (outdoors)
- Harvest: June-October
Nigella damascena or Love-in-a-mist is simply called because of its bright blue flowers that seem to float in a mist of fine, feathery light green foliage. It is an annual plant, belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is native to southern Europe, North Africa, where it is found on neglected, damp patches of land.
The blue, pink, and white flower heads of Nigella have often been seen in English cottage gardens since Elizabethan times, and have been admired for its ferny foliage, spiky flowers and bulbous seed-heads. They are great in wildflower borders or arrangements in window boxes/ planters, growing to around 40 to 60cm and being attractive to bees and insects.
Sow: February (indoor), April (outdoors). Sow 6mm deep on good organic seed compost, 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frosts. Nigella does not transplant too well so it is advisable sow directly in spring on a full sunny site with good drainage. Thin so they are finally 20-30cm apart and pinch out to encourage bushiness. Sow in September for early flowering next year.
Grow: Prefers a sunny spot with fertile soil. Water in dry spells but do not overwater and fertiliser will suppress flowers.
Harvest: June to October. Regularly cut flowers and dead head faded ones to encourage more blooms all summer.