Surface sow and press in lightly; requires light to germinate.
10-12 weeks before last frost, sow in germinating mix; covering flat with humidity dome to retain moisture while seeds germinate. Keep at 60-65°F.
After last spring frost until early summer. Will bloom the following year.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Elegant spires rise from a neat foliage rosette in summer. A trouble free, robust grower, wonderful at the back of the border, or at the woodland garden's edge. A biennial to short-lived perennial that prefers humus-rich soils that are very well-drained to enhance winter survival. Cutback main stalk partway after flowering to encourage side shoots to develop and bloom. Deadhead when blooming is over, leaving a stalk or two to self sow. Poisonous if eaten. Use gloves and caution when handling.
Somewhat drought tolerant when established. About 1" or less of water a week.
Acidic to mildly alkaline.
Mix about 2" of compost into the soil at time of planting, and top-dress every spring with about 1"; mix in.
Diseases & Pests:
Slugs can be troublesome. Prevent damage by sprinkling iron phosphate pellets on the ground around the plants during favorable conditions for slugs. Avoid powdery mildew and leaf spot with proper spacing in a location that has good air circulation.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Harvest when about half of the florets are open.