Nemophila Pennie Black is a superb, easy to grow annual with masses of sumptuous deep purple to black, silver edged blooms produced on low ground hugging plants. Slightly trailing they are lovely in containers or used as an edging in bedding and borders.
Many photographs make the small flowers, which are only 2-3 cm wide (1”), appear much larger than they really are.
The Victorians loved this tiny flower because of its dainty two-tone colour and airy, light green foliage. It is also perfect for shaded areas: “nemophila" means "shade-lover"
Sowing: Sow direct in late Spring to early Summer, or plant into pots in Autumn
Seeds are best sown in short drills 12mm (½in) deep once temperatures reach around 20°C (68°F). They prefer a sunny open site but will grow in most sites and soils. Sow outdoors where they are to flower.
Prepare the ground well and rake to a fine tilth before sowing. Mark the sowing areas with a ring of light coloured sand and label if sowing more than one annual in the same bed. Sow 1.5mm (1/18th in) deep in rows 15cm (6in) apart.
Seeds germinate in 7 to 21 days. The seedlings will appear in rows approx 6 to 8 weeks after planting and can be told from nearby weed seedlings quite easily. Thin the seedlings out so they are finally 23cm (9in) apart by early summer. Compost should be kept slightly moist, but not wet at all times.
An autumn sowing outdoors will provide earlier flowers and in a coldframe will produce spring flowering pot plants in the cold greenhouse
Sow in pots or trays of moist seed compost and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination will usually take 14 to 21 days at temperatures around 20°C (68°F).
Prefers well drained soil enriched with manure or compost ahead of planting and can be grown on light sandy soils.
Feeding is rarely needed but water well, apply complete plant food as growth begins in the spring.
Deadhead to prolong flowering. Leave a few plants to die down and self seed. Others can be pulled up and composted
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flowers Borders and Beds, Rockeries, Pots, Baskets and containers, Underplanting.
Baby Blue Eyes are members of the Waterfeaf Family (Hydrophyllaceae). Native to parts of the US, they range from Southern California to Central Oregon.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 240 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 200 seeds per gram Family Hydrophyllaceae Genus Nemophila Species menziesii var. discoidalis Cultivar Pennie Black Common Name Baby Eyes Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Deep purple to black, silver-white edged blooms Natural Flower Time Early to Mid Summer Foliage Mid Green Height 10 to 15cm (4-6in) Spread 30 to 45cm (12-15in) Position Part shade preferred, will tolerate full sun Aspect West or South facing. Exposed or Sheltered Time to Sow Sow direct in late Spring to early Summer, or plant into pots in Autumn Germination 7 to 21 days