GIANT SEA KALE
Crambe cordifolia billows impressively as a great white cloud of summer flowers.
A great white haze of flowers
So the Giant Sea Kale is a huge, billowing mass of tiny white flowers; hovering above handsome, large dark green leaves.
So making a striking contrast of cloudy, misty flowers and strong architectural foliage that draws all eyes.
And creating a haze of sweet perfume to reel in admirers.
Sweetly scented cloud for bees & pollinators
Our flying friends the bees, butterflies and pollinating insects adore the sweet scent of Crambe cordifolia as much as we do, and flock to feast on the nectar in the tiny flowers.
Like Gypsophila on steroids
Crambe cordifloia flowers are as fine as the finest Gyp, but it creates even larger billows of bloom.
So making an excellent cut flower for floristry. With its great heads scenting the room as well.
One stem of the cloudy blooms can fill a vase with mist – the perfect filler for summer floral arrangements.
Easy to grow & not fussy
Crambe cordifolia is easy to grow and enjoys a sunny spot, though it will also tolerate some partial shade if necessary.
It will also obligingly tolerate poor soil.
But if you give it some fertilizer and enriched the soil with some compost or mulch then it rewards you with even greater, full on cumulus size clouds of flowers.
Thrives in a wide range of soils & frost
Crambe cordifolia thrives in a wide range of soils, from alkaline to acid pH; from sandy to heavier loam.
It is not a particularly thirsty plant and goes along very happily on average garden watering.
Plus it is very frost hardy, tolerating frost down to approx. -20C.
Hardy perennial clump
Crambe cordifolia is a low maintenance and long lived perennial clump.
During winter you can cut it back to the socks, ready to billow up again next spring.
Can foam up with clouds of flowers to 2m. High if well fed (or 1.2m on leaner rations) x 1.2 Wide of handsome large leaves.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Suitable for beginners & gardening with kids
Seeds for Crambe cordifolia can be sown at any time indoors in punnets when temperatures are suitable / or sown directly into the garden in spring.
Seeds should be stored in the fridge (not freezer) if you are not sowing immediately.
Place the packet in a clip lock bag and seal before storing in the fridge to keep them fresh until you are ready to sow.
Sow indoors for early plants: First soak the seeds in warm (not boiling) water overnight.
Then next day sow the seeds in a punnet on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Now gently pat the surface of the mix to ensure the seeds have good contact with the mix.
And cover the seeds with approx. 2cm. of sieved mix / fine grit.
Then thoroughly moisten the mix by standing the sown punnet in a shallow water bath and allowing the water to percolate through from below, until the surface is moist.
Now wrap the moist, sown punnet in cling-wrap or a plastic bag, and place in the fridge (not freezer) for 4-6 weeks.
This “pretend winter” period of chilling will greatly enhance the seed germination.
Then after 4-6 weeks, remove the punnet from the fridge, unwrap, and place the punnet in a warm, well lit position (not in any direct sunlight).
Keep the seed punnet in good light
Temperatures around 15C are ideal for rapid and optimum germination after the period of chilling.
So you can use a heat mat to maintain temperature if you have one, but it is not essential as these seeds are willing germinators in a warm and well-lit location.
A sheltered window sill or warm corner is also fine as these seeds also appreciate plenty of light to sprout.
Then continue to keep consistently moist by misting from a spray water bottle as required.
Covering the punnet with a clear plastic cover will help maintain consistent moisture and prevent drying out.
Seedlings may begin emerging as soon as 10 days, but normally in approx. 14 days.
And it is a good idea to prick the seedlings out as soon as possible, as once sprouted they grow quickly and so can become leggy if they are left too long.
Seed count: 5 seeds per pack. (Seeds of this striking beauty are scarce).
Growing Tip: Be prepared to dust the handsome leaves with some Derris if Cabbage White Butterfly caterpillars become too greedy and start chewing holes.
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