Persicaria orientalis goes by a common name so flamboyant that it’s worth growing just to be able to sprinkle its common name into conversation. ‘Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate’ is an extraordinarily tall garden favourite.
With lush foliage and heart shaped leaves, the plants grow to around 6 to 7ft tall (around 200cm). The multi-branching stems of this eye-catching annual arch downwards and from July to October the plants are spectacularly draped with long, dangling, velour-like cerise tassels.
Persicaria prefer a position in full sun to part shade and are happy in almost in any type of soil, they prefer moisture but are drought tolerant in summer. This top pollinator-friendly variety, attracts bees and wasps as well as honeybees to the garden while birds love to eat the seeds in autumn.
Late in the summer, at the time when many perennials start dwindling, this Persicaria just gets better and better. The flowers have a gentle yet delightful fragrance and the stems make wonderful cut and dried flowers.
Sowing: Sow in late summer/autumn and late winter/late spring.
Persicaria need a period of cold to enable them to germinate. Sow at temperatures of around 18 to 22°C (64 to 71°F), covering them with a thin layer of compost. The compost should be kept moist but not wet at all times. Germination is slow but steady and, dependent on temperatures, usually occur between 21 and 60 days.
If germination is slow, you may wish to use the method of stratification to mimic the seed going through the seasons: Place the tray into a fridge for 4 weeks (Fridges are usually set at 4°C, the ideal 'Winter' temperature, then bring out and place in an area that mimics spring: at 5 to 12°C (41 to 53°F)
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. After the last expected frosts, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to15 days before planting out into their permanent positions,
Plant in a position of full sun for best flowering, in moist soil that does not dry out. Space the plants at least 30cm (12in) apart.
You may not wish to plant too close to a pond or water, as it can become invasive on very damp soil.
Once the tassels of flowers go brown late in the season, collect seeds and store for sowing next season.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flowers Borders and Beds, Garden Edging, Ground Cover or Rock Garden.
Persicaria is genus of about 100 to 150 species of herbaceous flowering plants in the knotweed family, Polygonaceae.
Persicaria orientalis has become naturalised in North America after being introduced as an ornamental from south Asia.
It is a giant relative of our native bistort, the species plant has thick stems and routinely get five to eight feet tall.
Persicaria is the medieval name given to Bistort. It is taken from the Latin persica meaning 'peach', alluding to the shape of the leaves. In ancient times a peach was called persike or persica meaning 'Persian apple'. A fruit that reached Europe from China by way of Persia.
The species name is from the Latin orientalis and means 'of or from the East'.
Persicaria orientalis has a long list of wonderfully Victorian names. Depending on your location you may know it as Prince's feather, Princess feather, Oriental Persicary or Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 90 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 90 seeds per gram Common Name Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate Other Common Names Prince's feather, Princess feather, Oriental Persicary Other Language Names Fr: Renouée orientale Family Polygonaceae Genus Persicaria Species orientalis Synonym Persicaria orientale, Polygonum orientale Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Long, dangling, velour-like cerise tassels. Natural Flower Time July to October Foliage Semi-evergreen. Bronze in Autumn. Height 200 to 220cm (6 to 7ft) Spread 90cm (36in) Position Full sun or light shade Aspect All aspects. Exposed or Sheltered. Soil Nutritious and moist ideal, but does tolerate dry soils. Time to Sow Late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn. Germination 21 to 60 days