Bells of Ireland
Latin Name: Moluccella laevis
Item #: 711
BELL OF IRELAND
Annual (2 ft/61 cm) Approx. 4,200 seeds per oz/28 gr
GREENHOUSE: Seed will not germinate unless it is pre-chilled in a refrigerator @ 50°F/10°C. for 5-10 days before seeding. Sow in sandy soil Apr. 1st . Germination is usually rather irregular and very slow, taking about 5 weeks. For best results, soil temp. must be alternated between 85°F/29°C. day temp. and 50°F/10°C nights. Keep moist. If you have cold frames, it may be easier to direct seed flats and germinate the seed in unheated frames. This species seems to rebel against a greenhouse environment, for starting seed. It will grow like a weed, if sown outdoors in the Spring but you will not be too successful unless you try to simulate natural outdoor Spring conditions!
HOME GARDEN: Give the seed the cold treatment, described above, then sow outdoors in late Apr. or early May, while the soil is still cold. Choose a sunny warm location. Cover seeds lightly. Keep plants well watered and feed lightly with 20-20-20 fertilizer for extra long, full flower stalks. Cut flowers last quite a while, and are excellent for arrangements. To use as an everlasting, cut close to the ground, remove leaves, retain "bells". Hang up side down in a cool, ventilated cellar to dry. Spray with various colors for unusual floral arrangements