The Nigella plant is also known as Fennel flower, Love-in-a-Mist, Wild fennel, and Devil-in-a-Bush. The plant actually performs best in cooler growing areas, in ordinary, well-drained, pH-neutral soil. The plant needs to be fertilized and deadhead regularly and they also need to be water in long dry spells. Nigella seeds are easy to plant. The plant may self sow, depending on the growing conditions. Nigella botanical name is Nigella damascena and it belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. Nigella plant does well in full sun.


Timing: You can sow indoors either in peat or coir pots, six to eight weeks before planting out after last frost. Better luck may come from direct sowing outdoors one to two weeks before last frost when some risk of frost still exists and then sow again every 3 weeks for the next three months. Otherwise, direct sow in the fall. Optimal soil temperature for germination is about sixty-five to seventy degree Fahrenheit. Seeds should sprout in eight to fifteen days.


Starting: Just cover the small Nigella seeds. Aim for a final spacing of about twenty to thirty centimeter.


Growing: Nigella plant actually performs best in cooler growing areas, in ordinary, well-drained, pH-neutral soil.


Soil: The plant does well in Fertile, well-drained soil.


Position and location: The plant prefers full sun to partial afternoon shade.


Frost tolerant: The plant frost tolerant is moderate. In mild winter areas or sheltered sites the plant seedlings that sprout in fall may survive to spring. The seedlings that actually sprout in early spring can easily survive light frosts.


Feeding: You can easily mix a light application of a balanced organic fertilizer into the soil prior to planting.



Plant spacing: Single plants should be space 30cm each way and rows 30 cm with about 30 cm row gaps.


Sowing and Planting: Sow the nigella seeds in prepared beds and gently press the seed into the surface. Keep moist until the nigella seeds germinate. Because of their lacy foliage the plant seedlings are easy to recognize among weeds. Nigella typically grows better from direct-sown seeds than from transplanted seedlings.



Because nigella blooms for only a few weeks, it is best to actually sow the seeds 2 or 3 times from late spring to early summer. Flower colors include blue, white, pink and purple. 


Harvesting: A lot of gardeners actually like to gather the decorative dried seed pots for use in dry arrangements. When the pods begin to brown you can easily clip them off and hang them in small bunches to dry.

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