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With miniature Snapdragon-like flowers that glisten from short spikes, hardy perennial Linaria maroccana is one of the best ever, cheery and colourful of all garden plants. Appropriately named, this ethereal-hued variety blooms with all the colours of the ‘Northern Lights’, a multitude of bright shades and hues including amethyst, violet and magenta. Linaria maroccana, often called 'Fairy Flax' when it was introduced into gardens in 1872, is an erect, slender annual plant with small lance-shaped fleshy, emerald green leaves. The long-spurred, two-lipped, snapdragon-like flowers appear in June to September in a multitude of bright colours and reach a height of around 50 to 60cm (20 to 24in) tall with a spread of 25 to 30cm (10 to 12in).
Pretty Wild Seeds are registered with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under number 7529, so you can have confidence in both our products and advice. Although our products are listed in weights and acres, we can supply in additional quantities upon enquiry so if you need a larger supply, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
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We happily accept returns within 14 days from date of delivery. All returns must be received in the same condition and packaging we sent them. Postage charges will not be refunded on unwanted products.
You are solely responsible for ensuring the goods are returned to us. We will not be liable for returns that are lost in the post or lost for any other reason. If a product arrives damaged we will advise the customer how to return the item with all return costs covered by us. Replacements & refunds will be dispatched / issued on receipt of the returned items only.
Sowing: The seed of Linaria is very fine. When sowing very fine seeds directly where the flowers are meant to grow, many gardeners mix the seed with dry sand and then broadcast this mix very thinly. This usually provides enough spacing between seedlings so that little if any thinning-out is necessary. Seedlings can later be thinned so the plants are not overcrowded or shaded by nearby growth. Thinnings can be successfully transplanted on damp, cloudy days. But these plants will always be a bit inferior to those that have grown their entire life without transplant shock.
Another secret for creating the most successful displays is thorough weeding. It is usually best to prepare the planting site in advance and then let the bed settle. Allow whatever weed seed there is in the bed to germinate, then rake or weed this out, once or twice prior to broadcasting the Linaria seed. Raking or slicing through the topsoil and weeds on a dry, sunny and windy day will cause the weed seedlings to almost immediately shrivel and return back to the soil as a ‘green manure’ and eliminates the effort of hand-weeding.
This eliminates almost all weeds that might otherwise crowd-out or overshadow the delicate and small seedlings. Otherwise, it is often very difficult to successfully traditionally weed amongst tiny Linaria seedlings because they are so fine, small and shallow-rooted.
Pulling out any nearby weeds almost surely will damage a number of nearby Linaria seedlings which will later-on limit their ultimate performance.
Sowing Direct; Linaria maroccana can be grown outdoors by sowing directly outdoors after the last frost of spring. Choose a position that is sunny and well drained with an average soil. Cultivate the area, removing any weeds or stones and rake the soil to a fine tilth.
It is a good idea to mark the sowing areas with a ring of light coloured sand and label if sowing if sowing around other perennial plants of if sowing with more than one annual in the same bed. Sow the seeds finely on the surface of the soil. Do not cover the seed with soil, just firm them in, to ensure that the seeds have contact with the soil and receive moisture. Keep the soil moderately moist during germination.
When large enough to handle, thin out the seedlings in spring until they are 20cm (8in) apart
Sowing Indoors; If you prefer to start early indoors then seeds should be sown about seven or eight weeks before they are due to be put in the garden.
Use pots or trays containing moistened seed compost. Keep the compost moist, do not water directly onto the surface of the seeds or seedlings, but water from the base of the tray and then drain. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Grow on in cooler conditions and transplant outdoors a few weeks after the last frost once the minimum temperature remains above 15°C (60°F), plant 20 to 25cm (8 to 10in) apart.
Autumn sown seeds should be overwintered in cool, light, frost-free conditions before planting out the following spring.
Cultivation; Once they are established the plants need little care. After the first flush of flowers is spent, the plants can be sheered by two-thirds to induce rebloom. When the flowers are removed for use in arrangements, the plant, will blossom with renewed vigour.
Linaria maroccana will bloom from spring right through to autumn in areas with a cool summer climate. In hot climates they may stop blooming in the height of summer, especially if they do not receive rainfall, but will resume flowering once temperatures lower. They are fairly drought tolerant but would appreciate watering during dry summer months.