Superb in cottage gardens. Beautiful, vibrant blooms, great on the patio in pots.
Sow indoors, February-April, to flower the same year, 0.5cm (¼”) deep, in a tray of compost. A temperature of 15-20°C (60-68°F) is ideal. Keep moist. Seedlings usually appear in 14-21 days. Transplant them, 5cm (2″) apart, to other trays, when large enough to handle. Gradually accustom young plants to outside conditions, before planting out into well-drained soil, May-October, 20cm (8″) apart, when frosts are over. Or, sow outdoors, April-July to flower the following year, in a seed bed, 0.5cm (¼”) deep, into finely-prepared, well-drained soil, which has already been watered. Thin seedlings to 5cm (2″) apart, before planting out to flowering position in autumn, spacing 20cm (8″) apart. Flowers: June to October.
Tip: Remove dead heads to prolong the flowering season. For cut flowers, pick as the heads begin to open, dip the cut ends into freshly-boiled water and place in a vase of cold water.