Surface sow; press in and sprinkle lightly with fine vermiculite then cover with black paper to exclude light, as Salpiglossis requires darkness to germinate.
Seed To Bloom:
Start in pots 8 weeks before last frost. Keep at 70-75°F.
Direct sow at last frost date. Cover seeds as they require darkness to germinate.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Velvet trumpet—an old name for this vintage flower—is a stunning annual native to Chile. It is an illuminated manuscript of a flower, with elaborate veining showcasing the varied flower hues. Grow at the edge or middle of the border or in cutting gardens to admire and gather for long-lasting bouquets. It is best where summer heat is not extreme, and nights cool down, followed by sunny, dry days—a situation not common in many gardens. But they will do fine with some straw mulch to cool the soil and a bit of afternoon shade. Pinch back young plants to promote bushiness and place some small twiggy branches in the ground for support when planting.
About 1" per week; do not overwater.
If soil is poor, mix in about 2" of compost before planting.
Diseases & Pests:
Aphids may appear. If needed, treat with insecticidal soap. Avoid any root disease by growing in very well-drained soils.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Harvest when there are several fully opened flowers on a stem.