This plant is actually an old-fashioned favorite plant that really adds brilliant color to the flower garden in shades of magenta, bright pink and white.

Rose Campion plant is Native to northern Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East, the plant has become naturalized in many parts of the United States. Rose Campion plant grows naturally on rocky, scrubby hillsides. Rose Campion plant does well in xeriscaping, rock gardens, wildflower meadows and cottage gardens. The plant genus name ‘Lychnis’ (Greek for lamp), comes from the fact that the felt-like leaves were used as lamp wicks in olden days. The soft, pale, gray-green plant foliage makes the perfect backdrop for the brightly colored flowers, with each blossom lasting only a day. The plant foliage adds soft texture in the garden when the flowers are not in bloom. The flowers are sparse the 1st year but numerous in the 2nd year. In the 3rd year, the numbers of blossoms begin to drop, but the plants are eager reseeders that regenerate themselves every year.    

How to care for Rose Campion

To grow rose campions is very easy if you actually choose the right location. Rose Campion plants prefer full sun but they also tolerate partial shade, where they produce fewer blossoms. Rose Campion plants can survive winters in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, on the other hand they may not survive particularly severe winters in zone 4. This plant also prefers poor, dry soil over rich soil, and they tolerate alkaline or calcareous soil. Dry soil is actually the best, although the Rose Campion plants may need supplemental watering during extended dry periods. If you have to water the plant, make sure you apply the moisture slowly so that the water will sink deep into the soil. The plant seeds really need a chilling period before they will germinate, you can plant them in the fall for spring germination. If you live in an environment that typically has warm periods in fall and winter, you can plant the seeds in winter, several weeks before the last expected frost date. The plant seeds actually need light to germinate, make sure you press them on the surface of the soil without covering them.

Make sure you deadhead the plant regularly to keep the flowers blooming. To encourage the plant to reseed itself you can remove the mulch from areas where you want seedlings to take root, and then leave the last flush of summer flowers in place to form seed heads. In spring, you can thin the seedlings and move some of the excess to other locations. The only additional care the rose campions plants need is late fall or early winter pruning. You can cut them back to about 1/3 of their original size.

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