Large, bright blooms on sturdy stems, great for shows. A vigorous grower and one of the best for cut flowers.
Plant Class: Hardy Annual (HA).
Sow indoors for surest results, January-March or September-October, 1.5cm (½") deep, 5 seeds per 12cm (5") pot of compost. Water well and place in a cold frame, greenhouse or on a cool windowsill. A temperature of 15°C (60°F) is ideal. Keep moist. Seedlings usually appear in 12-21 days. Pinch out the growing tip, when two pairs of leaves have formed, to encourage bushy growth. Gradually accustom young plants to outside conditions (avoid frosts), before planting out into well-drained soil, March-May, 30cm (12") apart. Support with tall canes or netting. Or, sow outdoors for ease, April-May, where they are to flower, 1.5cm (½") deep, directly into finely-prepared, well-drained soil, which has already been watered. Sow 2 seeds together, every 30cm (12"). Remove weaker seedling, which can then be transplanted. Seeds sown in autumn generally flower earlier the following year. Flowers: May to October. Pick blooms regularly to prolong the flowering season.
Tip: Seedlings are best protected against bird damage with a few short twigs. Autumn sowings should be overwintered in cool, but frost-free conditions.