Hardy heirloom variety producing large spikes of double flowers from early spring to frost, in rose, scarlet, pink, yellow, violet, and purple.
Edible perennial, usually grown as an annual. Hardy to zone 6. Succeeds in most soils. Poor soils should be enriched with organic matter. Prefers a heavy rich soil and a sheltered sunny position.
Sow April/May or August/September in pots or in situ. Easily grown from seed, which usually germinates in about 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c Will flower in 16 weeks.
Height 90-180cm. Spread 60cm.
Sow 6mm deep indoors, setting plants out at 45-60cm apart, after last frosts.
Stake plants in exposed sites.
The flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'Quick Return' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.
The seed contains 12% of a drying oil.