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True Blue
Home Home Gardening
By: Joshua Ellison Email Article
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5. Meconopsis

Also answering to ‘Himalayan Blue Poppy’, this stunning cultivar never fails to enchant, with its beautiful papery, sky-blue petals and pale yellow centre, however, unfortunately, it often fails to establish itself in gardens so far from its native climate. Do not even attempt to grow this plant unless you have well-drained, acid soil and a shady spot to grow them in. For guaranteed results, it is necessary to tailor the plant’s surroundings and allow it to acclimatize slowly. Plants are also short-lived and will need to be regularly replaced and you can do this from seed. First sow the seeds onto a damp paper towel, roll the towel into a log and place it in one of the salad drawers of your fridge in a sealed plastic bag for a month. The reason for this is to introduce the dormant seeds to their endemic environment and effectively wake them up. Next you need to create a compost of grit and seed and ericaceous compost, water the tray well and leave to drain, then place your seeds on the surface of the mix but don’t cover them with a second layer. To get them to germination, the most important thing to remember is water, at no point should the mix tray dry out, store said tray in a cool place preferably with a plastic lid to retain moisture. However, you must take care to remove the lid as soon as germination begins to prevent fungal rot. After a fortnight they should be ready for transplant and we recommend the same mix that was used for germination combined with plenty of tenderness and loving care.

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Written by Joshua Ellison of Floral & Hardy Gardens, experts for Garden Design Knightsbridge

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