Days to Germination:25-35 days
Moluccella laevis, aka Shellflower. Direct-sow Bells of Ireland 2 weeks before the last frost date. Prior to sowing, soak the seeds overnight in lukewarm water to assist germination. Sow in a rich, well-draining garden bed in full to partial sunlight. Water regularly and feed as needed with manure tea, kelp or fish emulsion. Or start transplants indoors 6 to 8 weeks before setting out around the last frost date. Sow seeds on top of sterile starter mix, leaving the seeds uncovered but pressed firmly onto the soil surface, as light is needed for germination. Provide good air circulation, strong light and even moisture. Harden off the seedlings by gradually acclimating them to the outdoors over 7 to 10 days before transplanting them out 12" apart. Readily self-sowing, this prized 1570 heirloom produces 2' to 3' spires of pale to emerald green, 1" funnel-shaped bells enclosing tiny, fragrant white flowers. Summer flowering. Height: 2' to 3'.