HOW TO GROW THE PYRETHRUM DAISY FROM SEED



The Pyrethrum daisy is one of those plants that is a true gardeners friend. Not only do they brighten up the garden and attract beneficial pollinating insects, their flowers also make one of the most powerful natural insecticides.

Growing these plants from seeds is relatively easy, but there are several things that need to be taken into consideration.

SOWING INDOORS

Pyrethrum seeds can be sown indoors any time from late winter to the middle of spring. Using a plug tray or normal seed tray, fill with a good quality seed mix such as John Innes ‘seed’ compost. Firm the compost down then give it gentle water making sure that the compost is moist, but not too wet.

Lightly sow the seed on the compost, then cover it with a thin layer of perlite or horticultural grit. Seal the tray in a polythene bag and leave in a warm sunny position such as a south facing windowsill. As soon as germination occurs - which usually takes 30-60 days - remove the bag to prevent the incidence of fungal rots.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle they can be transplanted into 3in pots. Once established they can be planted outside into their final position. They will do well in most ordinary soils but will prefer to be positioned in full sun.

Once the young plants have grown to about 6 inches tall the tops can be pinched out to promote lateral growth and to help prevent legginess.

SOWING OUTDOORS

When sowing pyrethrum seeds directly outside you will need to time it so that there is no longer a threat of late frosts. If a frost is forecast then appropriate protection will need to be given or a second sowing will probably need to be made.

To begin with, you should only sow pyrethrum seeds in areas that will receive the most amount of direct sunlight. This will be of particular importance if you are intending to harvest the flowers for insecticidal use because the plant will produce more of its natural insect repellent, the warmer it is in its final position.

Before sowing the ground will need to prepared into a suitable seed bed so dig it over to loosen the soil then rake the surface into a fine tilth. Place the seeds at least 3 to 4 inches apart then cover with a thin layer of soil approximately twice the depth of the size of the seed. Tamp the soil down firmly, then water in making sure the area is kept moist during the germination period.

Outside, pyrethrum seeds will usually germinate in about 7 to 10 days. These can either be left where they are or transplant to their final position when the seedlings are about 2 inches high.

Once the young plants have grown to about 6 inches tall the tops can be pinched out to promote lateral growth and to help prevent legginess.

For related articles click onto the following links:
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