Cape Forget-Me-Not, scientifically known as Anchusa capensis, is an enchanting flowering plant with vibrant blue flowers that resemble tiny forget-me-not blossoms. The flowers grow in clusters atop sturdy stems, and the plant features lance-shaped, hairy leaves. Cape Forget-Me-Not adds a splash of color and charm to garden beds and borders.
Origin: Cape Forget-Me-Not is native to South Africa.
Usage: It is commonly used in cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, and as a border plant. The striking blue flowers attract butterflies and bees, making it a pollinator-friendly choice.
Interesting facts: Cape Forget-Me-Not is known for its ability to self-seed and naturalize in suitable growing conditions. It thrives in sandy or rocky soils and is often found growing near coastal areas.
HOW TO GROW
General requirements: Cape Forget-Me-Not is a relatively easy plant to grow, requiring minimal care and attention.
Temperature and Light: It prefers full sun to partial shade. In hot climates, some afternoon shade can help protect the plant from excessive heat. The ideal temperature range for Cape Forget-Me-Not is between 60°F and 75°F (15°C to 24°C).
Soil: It thrives in well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Sandy or loamy soils with good drainage are ideal. If your soil is heavy or clayey, improve drainage by adding organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure.
Water: Cape Forget-Me-Not has moderate water needs. Water the plant regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. During hot and dry periods, provide supplemental watering to prevent drought stress.
Planting: Sow Cape Forget-Me-Not seeds directly outdoors after the last frost date in your area. Prepare the planting area by loosening the soil and removing any weeds or debris. Scatter the seeds over the soil surface and lightly press them into the soil. Keep the seeds consistently moist until germination occurs, usually within 10-15 days.
Spacing: Space the plants about 8-12 inches apart to allow for proper growth and airflow.
Maintenance: Cape Forget-Me-Not requires minimal maintenance. Remove any weeds that compete with the plants for nutrients and water. Mulching around the plants can help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth.
Fertilizer: Cape Forget-Me-Not generally doesn't require heavy fertilization. If your soil is poor, you can apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer during the growing season. However, excessive fertilization can lead to lush foliage at the expense of flower production.
Pests and Diseases: Cape Forget-Me-Not is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for snails and slugs, which may feed on the leaves. Use organic pest control methods if necessary.
HARVESTING AND SEED SAVING
Harvesting: Cape Forget-Me-Not is primarily grown for its ornamental flowers. You can cut the stems just above a leaf node or bud to enjoy the blooms in fresh flower arrangements.
Seed Saving: Allow some flowers to remain on the plant and go to seed. As the seed pods dry and turn brown, they will start to split open. Carefully collect the seeds and remove any debris or chaff. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place in labeled envelopes or airtight containers for future planting.
- Common name: Cape Forget-Me-Not
- Latin name: Anchusa capensis