A great plant for the suburban vege grower, Phacelia is very easy to grow and incredibly useful to have around. It grows quickly and blooms heavily over a long period. Spikes of clustered tiny mauve blooms with long whiskery stamens make a lovely cut flower.
Phacelia's planted for the primary purpose of attracting pollinators, and predators and parasites of pest insects. It's one of the top honey-producing flowers for honeybees and attracts the natural predators of aphids and psyllids.
Producing a lot of biomass, it makes an excellent cover crop or an abundant source of material for the compost heap. Try:
-- planting in early autumn as a cover crop, then follow-up by planting early potatoes in the residue in spring;
-- planting and digging in at any time as a green manure crop;
-- plant underneath apple trees;
-- plant a pretty summer insect border with lashings of phacelia;
-- using as a dead mulch around your tomato plants.
Phacelia seed needs dark for good germination – bury the seed about 7mm. Spring- and summer-planted phacelia flowers approximately 6 – 8 weeks after germinationcontinuing for 6-8 weeks. Phacelia is a long-day plant and requires a minimum of 13 hours of daylight to initiate flowering. Needs full sun.
Enough seed here for 4 square metres of green manure crop.
Seed type: Open-pollinated hardy annual
Seeds per packet: approx 4500
Days to germination: 7-14
Days to harvest: 5 months