Forget Me Nots belong to the genus Myosotis and family Boraginaceae. It has various species that come in different variations. For instance, in the flower colors, its commonly known for blue flowers, but other varieties can be white, pink, or yellow. The flowers are half an inch in diameter, with five petals growing at the stems’ end. Forget me not is very fragrant at night with little scent during the day.
Forget-Me-Not Native Climate
The plant can grow in a wide range of habitats from sea level to 4000 m high. The garden types are from temperate woodlands and evergreen forests of the Northern hemisphere, such as the alpine type. Common cultivars can survive within the United States Department of Agriculture Zones of 3-8, though most varieties are slightly adapted to cold and do well in 5 to 9 zones.
Therefore, the plant is less hardy to winter temperatures, and it mostly goes dormant in winter as a way of adaptation.
Forget me nots can grow well indoors without considering the growing zones as the conditions are moderate. The plant will grow well in mild sun and shade for it to bloom. In a colder climate, ensure it receives midday sun and partial shade in warmer climates with hot summers.
They can also handle full direct sunlight, but only when grown in very moist soils like around water ponds and when in gardens it will require extra water. Naturally, the plant grows in wet areas with humid air meaning its water-loving and therefore requires frequent watering.
Choosing Best Container for Forget Me Nots
The plant requires planting in containers that are 12 inches deep with enough draining holes. Vessels can be ceramic, plastic, or pot, though plastics are the best as they retain much water for plants use. Forget me nots can tolerate moderate to poorly fertile soils. For excellent performance, use 1 part of compost with 1 part of coarse sand, as the potting mix.
Check this too: How to Save a Dying Rhododendron
The potting mix helps in drainage and nutrient content of your plant. But a lot of nutrients cause legginess and poor blooming, and that’s why it is vital to use the above mix. This plant becomes very tall with weak stems and slender branches and fewer flowers, so it’s advisable to control nutrient supplies.
Plant only one plant in a 12-18-inch-deep to give space for spreading and root penetration or two plants in a 24-36-inch-deep container. The plant usually attains a height of 6-12 inches when mature depending on the variety.
How to Grow Forget Me Nots
Here is a quick guide on how to grow forget me nots right.
Adding Soil to the Pot
Fill the perfect container with a light soil mixture designed for this plant, i.e., 1-part compost and 1-part coarse sand. You may also consider adding some organic matter. The soil should contain a neutral Ph in the range of 5.5-7.5.
Sowing Seeds in a Container
Water the soil to make it wet before planting seeds. Plant a few seeds in a pot as sowing more will cause crowding and led to weak seedlings. You should do the planting a few weeks before the end of frost and keep your container indoors.
Place your pot at a room with a temperature range of 18-24 degrees warm to allow germination between 1-4 weeks. Ensure you keep rotating the vessel for even plant growth. The container should be in a dark room and cover it lightly with mulch. Once they are ready, transplant them to the final location and at a spacing of 25cm apart.
Sowing Directly into the Garden
You can also plant seeds directly in the field when the frost season is over. Ensure the ground has a fine a tilth and plant the seeds in straight drills for easy weeding. Add a layer of mulch until the seeds start sprouting to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Water the plants when 7.6 cm of soil depth feel dry to touch.
Forget me nots have various modes of propagation.
- They can be propagated as seeds directly and thin the excess to allow spacing for growth.
- Seedlings that you transplant to the desired location for growth.
- Rhizomes that are divided early in spring
- Stem cuttings planted in summer
How to Take Care of Forget Me Nots
The plant is hardy and can survive in less fertile soil, but moderate nutrients are essential for better growth. Therefore, you should only apply fertilizer when the plant leaves appear wilted or yellow or growing slowly during summer and spring. If, in such a situation, apply fertilizer monthly.
Use I teaspoon of 5-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer in one gallon of water. You can also use slow-releasing granular manure once, especially during spring, for faster blooming. Mulching is also necessary for outdoor plants. It helps to add nutrients to the soil, conserves moisture, and controls weeds. Apply mulch 5-10 cm deep and 2.5-5cm away from the base of the plant. Examples of mulch include; straws, grass, wood chips, shredded leaves.
Pruning and Deadheading
Pruning is necessary to shape the plant in the desired shape, allowing air circulation and prevent the spread of diseases. Trim the dead flowers or stems with a pair of sterilized pruners throughout the growing season. Deadheading is also essential when the flowers look ugly, especially at the end of the lifecycle. You can also pull up forget me nots before they produce seeds to control their population.
It’s the removal of excess plants to avoid overcrowding and give each plant space to spread. You can also uproot the infected plants to control the spread of diseases.
How often to water forget me nots? You should water your plant frequently when the soil feels feel dry. In hot areas, the plant will require more water to compensate for the rate of evaporation. Ensure you keep checking the soil moisture and maintain it at even wetness. During winter, watering should be reduced to once or twice a month as too much water can cause plant rot since the plant is usually in a dormant state.
The best place to grow the plant is in a moderate sun and shade spots. It is also easy to grow the plant when you space it well as pests and diseases will less attack it.
How to Make Forget Me Nots Grow Over Winter
You can ensure your plant’s growth during winter by moving them indoors to a heated room, unshaded with south-facing windows. Also, consider watering them infrequently and making sure the soil is thoroughly dry before watering. The plants are less tolerant of cold and grow slowly during winter hence no need for much water.
If planting seeds, do it indoors in trays or containers in a heated room with some shade. When growing your plants in the garden, you can’t move them, and, therefore, you shouldn’t worry. This plant is well adapted and goes into a dormancy period until the frost is over. It’s a perennial type and will still sprout when the conditions are favorable.
Are Forget Me Nots Poisonous?
Most forget me nots species are not poisonous to either pets or humans. The ornamental type Myosotis sylvatica is edible. If it grows organically, it adds color to salads or baked goodies. But they contain a chemical pyrrolizidine that is harmful if ingested in large quantities. One should consult the experts before consuming it or using for any other purpose. Only the broad-leafed and Chinese types are known to be toxic, especially to grazing animals.
How Do I Get Forget Me Nots Seeds?
The plants usually drop their seeds when the flowering period is over, but gong to collect them from the round can be hectic. Consider the following;
- Spread newspapers underneath your plants when they start turning brown
- Pull up all the stems and place them on the papers.
- Shake them until the flowers heads drop shiny black seeds
- Fold the newspapers and funnel the seeds into a container.
Forget me nots are mostly perennial and will sprout the following year from underground roots or reseed. But they may not grow as you desire due to crowding, thus a need to consider collecting seeds.
Check this too: How to Take Care of a Potted Hibiscus
Why Are My Forget Me Nots Dying?
Your plants may be dying due to the following reasons;
- They are reaching the end of their growth cycle. The plants usually bloom in spring, and in the end, they turn brown until the following year after frost where they sprout.
- They are getting too much sun. Though the plants can grow in areas with full sun, you should move them to shade. They only survive in full sun when given extra water or in the wild where they grow in marshy areas.
- You are giving them insufficient water. The plants require frequent watering, especially in hot climates.
- Fewer nutrients supply. Ensure you supply your plants with nutrients by applying fertilizer for them to grow healthy.
Attack by pests and diseases
Various diseases can attack the plants like;
Downy Mildew- occurs as light-colored spots on leaves and spore patches on the lower side.
Aster Yellows-makes the plant turn yellow and become stunted.
- Maintain proper hygiene by clearing all infected leaves or rotten plant materials to keep off pests that cause these diseases.
- Use appropriate fungicides.
Pests that attack the plants are potato flea, beetles, snails, slugs, aphids. They cause discoloration on leaves, makes the plant to wilt, destroy leaves and other plant parts.
- Handpick them especially the mollusks
- Clear all hiding places like rock, rotten matter around the plant
- Wipe the plant manually, for the aphids and remove all infected plants.
Forget me nots are beautiful when taken well care of and add scenic value to your compound. Provide them with the required conditions for growth like light, water, and nutrients. Also, protect them from pests and diseases attack. Remember, the plants are perennial, and therefore you can allow them to sprout and later transfer them to the desired location. Pruning is also essential to ensure they don’t invade unwanted areas.
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