Ratibida columnifera f pulcherrima ‘Red Midget’
RED MEXICAN HAT
Ratibida columnifera f pulcherrima ‘Red Midget’ is fun, spectacular, and dead easy to grow.
Unusual floating red-mahogany Mexican hats
It bears strikingly unusual flowers of deep mahogany-red, with drooping petals and prominent central cones, on fine tall stems.
So it looks for all the world like a flock of Mexican sombreros floating through the air.
Covered with flowers for months
‘Red Midget’ is a dwarf form, with large flowers of especially rich colour, and abundant blooms all over summer and autumn.
Flowers are borne in such profusion that the dwarf bush is covered in colour for months.
Because flowering begins in early summer, and continues until the first frost of winter.
Ratibida columnifera f pulcherrima ‘Red Midget’ is very quick and easy to grow from seed.
So if you get your seed sown in spring you can have flowers by summer, or even earlier if you get a flying start in late winter.
Great cut flowers
Red Mexican Hat is also a superb floristry flower when cut for a vase.
As well as a star in the garden with it’s unusually rich colouring, and exceptionally long flowering season.
‘Red Midget’ also makes a spectacular feature pot, because of the constant, abundant long blooming, and dwarf, compact growth.
So it is always neat and tidy.
Bee & bird friendly
Our friends the bees, butterflies and other useful pollinators flock to the flowers.
As do seed eating birds appreciated any winter cones left standing for them.
While fortunately the plant is largely untroubled by harmful pests and diseases.
Even rabbits and deer leave it low on their list of menu choices.
Water-wise & easy to grow
Plant Ratibida columnifera f pulcherrima ‘Red Midget’ in Full Sun to Part Shade.
Where it is hardy in heat and dry and revels in sun.
And obligingly it also tolerates a wide range of soils, including sandy or clay.
So ‘Red Midget’ is valued as a water-wise plant, and makes a spectacular addition to gardens where water is rationed, or if it is planted in pots.
It forms a delightfully coloured, long blooming, and low maintenance clump.
45cm. High absolutely covered with flowers x 45cm. Wide clump of finely cut foliage.
Quick & easy to grow from seed
Ratibida columnifera f pulcherrima ‘Red Midget’ happily self sows itself in the garden from year to year.
As long as you leave some seed heads standing after autumn, it will reliably self sow a new crop of babies and a make a procession of flowers for each new year.
Or you can save some seed heads (but dont forget to leave some for the birds too) to start early plants indoors next spring.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Suitable for beginners and kids
Sow at any time of year in punnets indoors / or scatter the seed directly in the garden spring or autumn.
INDOORS: Sow in a punnet on surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then gently press the seeds onto the surface of the mix to ensure good contact.
Now barely cover the seed with sieved mix, because light is needed for germination.
Now thoroughly moisten the mix from below by placing the sown punnet into a shallow water bath, so the moisture percolates up through the mix from the bottom.
Soak for a short time until moisture appears on the surface of the mix, and then drain.
As the mix needs to be remain moist but not wet.
Then place the punnet in a warm, well-lit position (not in direct sun).
Temperatures of 18-21°C approx. are best for rapid and optimum germination.
You can use a temperature controlled heat mat if you have one, but it is not essential.
And continue to keep the punnet moist by using a spray water bottle, or re-soaking in the water bath, as required.
Adding a clear plastic cover also helps to retain moisture.
Seedlings emerge in approx. 7-28 days.
However if the seeds are shy to sprout – then wrap the moist punnet in cling wrap or a clip=lock plastic bag and place in the fridge (not freezer) for 7 days.
And then remove, unwrap, and place again in the warm, well-lit position.
SEED COUNT: 90 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count, and give a generous serve).
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