A most attractive summer flowering, hardy shrub with masses of fawn-coloured, plume-like clusters of tiny flowers up to 20cms long which look just like puffs of smoke! The flowers are persistent and remain on the shrub and turn to smoky-grey towards autumn.
Flowers: June to July
Position: Sun or semi-shade
Packet of 30 seeds
Sowing Instructions: Sow at any time of the year, very thinly 3mm deep in moist, peat-based seed compost, eg.Levington in pots or trays. Seal in a polythene bag and place in the fridge or other cold place between 2-5C for 12 weeks. Then, move to a propagator or warm place and maintain an optimum temperature of 18-20C. Germination can be slow and erratic but should occur after 30-90 days. As the seedlings emerge, gradually increase ventilation by opening the bag or propagator vents. Note: as germination can be erratic, sow very thinly and prick out the seedlings as they grow large enough, disturbing the rest of the compost as little as possible.
Alternatively, sow as above in autumn or winter, seal in a polythene bag and place in a cold frame or sheltered part of the garden then let nature take its course as the seasons change. (I personally find this gives the best results).
Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 9cm pots. Grow on in cooler conditions (about 13-15C) with plenty of light, but shaded from direct sun and overwinter, if necessary, at about 5C. When established, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions and grow on until mature enough to be planted out in the garden in a sunny or semi-shaded position.