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April 2010
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Baby Blue Eyes : what are the different growing conditions and what care should be taken.

California poppies or Baby blue eyes are the perfect wildflower. They do great in the garden, growing like the proverbial weed, blooming in spring and then again in most gardens come autumn.
Baby blue eyes is a small plant, rarely growing over 10 inches high. The mounding plants are covered with flowers that are up to 11/2 inches in diameter. Most commonly, the flowers are sky-blue centered with white; some forms are spotted or veined with deeper colors.

– The seeds of Baby Blue Eyes and other Nemophila should be sown at the beginning of spring before the last frost.
– Once sown lightly cover the Nemophila seeds with soil.
– They can grow in either partially shaded or sunny areas of the garden, and have a preference for a light soil, that is cool and moist and of pH 5 to 8.
– Baby Blue Eyes and other Nemophila will not grow well in humid conditions.
– Baby blue eyes takes some shade, but the plant gets kind of floppy with more than a half-day of it.
– Rake and loosen the soil surface, then sow seed in October, November or even December. Keep the area damp, and the seed should sprout within two weeks.
– Remember not to overwater these natives once they’re growing.
– As with other native wildflowers, baby blue eyes does best with watering that tapers off through the season, from a good soaking twice a week in the beginning to almost none during flowering peak.

Propagating baby blue eyes

By seed : To get a jump on warm weather in hot summer areas, sow seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks prior to planting out. Seeds germinate in 7 to 12 days at 55% F. In cool summer areas, seeds can be sown in place outdoors in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Thin seedlings to a 6- to 9-inch spacing.

Uses for baby blue eyes

This low-growing plant is wonderful in front of borders and as an edging for beds, walkways, and paths. Try it tucked between the paving stones in a patio. Plant it in rock gardens. It’s a natural for containers.

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