Learn About Ipomopsis

How to Sow

How to Sow and Plant

Ipomopsis may be grown from seed sown early indoors or sown directly in the garden

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost using a seed starting kit
  • Sow thinly and evenly and cover with ¼ inch of seed-starting formula.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-15 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 2 pairs of true leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Direct sow in well-drained soil and full sun after danger of frost.
  • Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Sow seeds evenly and thinly and cover with ¼ inch fine soil.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 10-15 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Thin to stand about 12 inches apart starting when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • Remove spent flower heads to keep plants flowering until fall.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • At the end of the season you may want to leave the spent flower stalks as plants sometimes will self sow.

Growing tips

  • Hummingbird magnet!
  • Plants are tall and narrow. Use at the back of beds and borders and in the cutting garden.
  • Blooms in late summer to fall.
  • Highly pest and disease resistant.

Common Pests and Problems

Root Rots: A number of pathogens cause root rots of seedlings as well as mature roots. Burpee Recommends: Make sure your soil has excellent drainage. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps which feed on aphids. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap.

FAQ

Is ipomopsis deer resistant? Yes it does tend to be deer resistant.

Is ipomopsis good for containers? No, the plants are too large and narrow, and it develops a tap root.

Is ipomopsis an annual or perennial? There are annual and perennial varieties but Hummingbird Mix is not hardy. It can self-sow if it is happy and if you allow it to go to seed.

Is ipomopsis good for cutting? Yes, it makes a big statement in bouquets!

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