Collinsia

Height 60cm (2ft)

Planting distance 15cm (6in)

Flowers early summer to early autumn

Any moist soil

Light shade

Hardy annual

Easily grown and graceful, Collinsia heterophylla is popular for its long flowering season. The slender stems, up to 60cm (2ft) high, carry opposite pairs of lance-shaped mid green leaves below loose clusters of showy bicoloured flowers, the upper lips of which are white, the lower ones lilac.

Collinsias are suitable for growing in mixed borders and beds of annuals; they can also be grown as pot plants in the greenhouse.

Cultivation

Sow seeds from early to mid spring where the plants are to flower -successive sowings at fortnightly intervals will extend the flowering season. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them to stand 15cm (6in) apart. Collinsias will grow in most types of soil, though a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in partial shade gives the best results. Support the plants with twiggy sticks.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
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