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Anchusa aka Italian Bugloss or Italian Alkanet produces intense gentian-blue flowers Blooms in spring, summer and into fall. Flowers are edible and make a striking garnish.
'Dropmore' Anchusa was introduced prior to 1905 and continues to be popular today. Plants grow 4-5 feet tall, produce deep blue, late spring, summer and fall flowers. Staked plants give the best appearance, a small tomato cage works perfectly. Winter hardy to zone 3.
Sow Anchusa seeds in cell packs or flats, press into soil and barely cover. Light aids germination. Kept at 70°F., germination is in 21-28 days. Can direct sow into prepared seed beds, in groups of 3-4 seeds, spaced 16-24 inches apart. Thin to strongest plant. See Starting Your Seeds for more information.
Comments: Full sun. Anchusa plants tolerate heat, poor soil, and drought. Does not like high humidity. Grow Anchusa lean; give moderate water and little fertilizer. Plants will be more compact and heavier blooming. After flowering, cut Anchusa plants back to 4-6 inches tall. This promotes full, repeat bloom in September. Anchusa flowers attract bees and butterflies; they are favorites of Swallowtails. Plants are rabbit and deer resistant.