Seed To Bloom:
Start in containers 8-10 weeks before last spring frost. Sow in peat pots and refrigerate for 5 days, then keep at about 60-65°F. Alternating warm and cool temperatures can be beneficial, 50-75F.
Recommended. Direct sow at last frost date; fall in mild winter areas (zones 8-10).
WHEN TO SET OUTSIDE
At last spring frost date.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Bells of Ireland is a rarity in the flower garden but a star of the cutting garden, grown for the cup-shaped green calyces that provide all the decorative effect. Grow with purple nicotianas and heliotrope for a vivid contrast, or cut for long-lasting fresh bouquets. Best in cooler summer areas, as it resents heat. It may require staking in windy locations if straight stems are needed. Caution: stems have small thorns.
Keep moist—1+" per week is recommended, but avoid saturated soils.
Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.
Add 1" of compost or mix in an organic fertilizer.
Diseases & Pests:
No major pests or diseases.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Cut fresh when half of the flowers have opened, or when the stem length is optimum. Cut for dried arrangements when all of the "bells" are firm.