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Baby Blue Eyes

Better Homes and Gardens 11/28/2021 Megan Hughes
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Planting Partners

Pair baby blue eyes with cool-weather flowering annuals like pansies (Viola × wittrockiana), Johnny jump ups (Viola tricolor), stock (Matthiola), calendula, dianthus, and sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima). It is especially striking when paired with yellow or orange flowers. These choices will provide color for weeks in winter and/or early spring. They're also suitable plants for window boxes and patio side containers. Plant baby blue eyes near the containers edge so its branches can ramble over the edge.

Easy-to-grow perennial partner plants include bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis), creeping phlox (Phlox subulata), lungwort (Pulmonaria sp), and Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla). Scatter baby blue eyes seeds between clumps of these early-spring perennials to create a carpet of color. Add summer-blooming perennials to take over the color show after these plants stop flowering.

Create a gorgeous rock garden using these design ideas!

Baby Blue Eyes Care Must-Knows

Baby blue eyes grows best in loose, organically rich, well-drained acidic soil in full sun to part shade. Plant this cool-season annual where it can get some afternoon shade in regions with hot summer climates. Shelter from drying winds is a plus. With its succulent stems and leaves, baby blue eyes enjoys moderate drought tolerance, but will die back in extremely dry weather.

This plant is a cinch to grow from seed. In regions with cool summer climates, plant the seeds in spring directly in the garden beneath ¼ inch of soil. Keep the tiny seeds moist until they germinate in about seven to 10 days. Expect blossoms from summer until frost. In regions with hot summer climates and cold winters, plant seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost date. You'll get flowers from spring until summer's heat and humidity arrives. In regions with hot climates and mild winters (Zones 8-10), plant baby blue eyes in late summer or late fall for flowers from winter to spring.

Baby blue eyes will self-seed in optimum conditions. Or you can cut seed heads off and dry them in a paper bag to plant the following spring. This annual doesn't take well to transplanting.

Plant Baby Blue Eyes With

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California poppy, a native wildflower, adds an easygoing dose of color hot, dry sites. Beautiful, satiny flowers in sunset colors wave above ferny, blue-green foliage. They like poor soils, especially sandy soils. If soil is too rich and moist, they won't bloom well. California poppies are a cool-season annual, which means they offer great color early in the growing season but fade once the heat of summer hits.Plant them from seed in the fall or very early spring. They like moist conditions at first, but they are drought-tolerant once established. They dislike transplanting. When the plants start to brown and fade, pull them up. However, California poppies will reseed easily; for more plants next year, allow some flowers to ripen to seed on the plant and scatter when you tear up those plants. Replant in fall if you like, especially in warmer-climate areas.

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The adorable cup-shape flowers of nierembergia and its neat growth habit make it a useful annual flower for everything from containers to edging. Plant it in rows along the front of beds or borders for a crisp look (especially with the white types). Or use it in containers -- it's a great medium-height plant to visually tie together taller plants and cascading plants. Though it's usually grown as an annual, nierembergia is perennial in Zones 7-10.

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With its intricate flowers and fine-texture foliage, nigella stands out in the garden. This delightful little annual blooms throughout the summer, and the seed pods are often used in dried-flower crafts. Nigella does best in full sun and well-drained soil. It often reseeds.

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