Silene hero shot

Sow your Silene ‘Blue Angel’ seeds NOW

UK readers will have received a packet of Silene coeli-rosa 'Blue Angel' with their May issue of the magazine. Seeds can be sown from March to early June - so there's still time

Silene coeli-rosa ‘Blue Angel’ is a charming, hardy annual offering rounded cushions of electric blue flowers, all summer long. Lovely sown in flowing drifts at the front of a sunny border or in a container.

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Here’s how Great Dixter head gardener Fergus Garrett described the plant when he chose it as a favourite for June in his Plantsman’s Favourite series in the magazine back in 2013.

Silene 'Blue Angel' c. Sharon Pearson

A wonderful annual, hugging the ground with tussocky rosettes of grey-green leaves, above which float a dense tangle of smooth upright stems carrying a profusion of flowers in the most stirring shade of vivid blue. Each flower is approximately 3cm across and made up of a flat disc of five petals each notched at the tip and joined in the centre by a distinct black eye. Showy over a long season and dainty enough to run through empty spaces among perennials, imitating self-sowing. Mixes well with Lychnis coronaria and Eryngium giganteum.

Planting your seeds

Sow March to early June
Flowers June to September
Height 25cm Spread 20cm

Sow outdoors where they are to flower, 0.5cm deep, directly into finely prepared soil that has already been watered. Seedlings usually appear in 14-21 days. Thin seedlings to 15cm apart. Water well until plants are established. For a continuous display, make sowings at intervals of two to three weeks. Prefers well-drained soil in a sunny position.

• Keep an eye out for our final packet of free seeds for 2019 later in the year.

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Seed packet illustration by Vicki Turner