Finely fringed, lavender-blue flowers in late winter make Soldanella pusilla utterly enchanting as a harbinger of spring.
As they bloom well before winter has finished, and are amongst the earliest of garden treats.
Thimbles to melt your winter heart
Small rounded, scalloped evergreen leaves are also a pleasure all year.
But it’s the nodding thimbles of blooms sitting jauntily above the deep green, glossy foliage that melts your heart on a bleak winter’s day.
Soldanella pusilla has unusually coloured flowers.
Because the nodding thimbles are warm lavender-blue outside, with blue stripes inside.
And prettily fringed edges as if they have been cut with pinking shears.
Pretty tucked into a rock edge or a decorative pot
Soldanella pusilla is a shade lover, so this tiny treasure is ideal tucked into a rock edge or a decorative pot in a shaded spot, in a fernery or balcony.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: Pulsatilla pusilla
Sow Pulsatilla pusilla indoors during cool periods of winter, spring or autumn.
INDOORS: First sow the seeds in a punnet on surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then gently pat the surface to ensure the seeds have good contact with the surface of the mix.
And only lightly cover with sand / fine grit / sieved mix – because these seeds need light to germinate.
Now thoroughly moisten the sown punnet by standing it in a shallow water bath and allowing the moisture to percolate to the surface of the mix from below.
Now place the sown, moist punnet in a well lit position (with good light but absolutely no direct sunlight).
And continue to keep consistently moist by misting regularly with a spray water bottle.
Covering with a plastic cover will also help to maintain consistent moisture.
Temperatures of 15-18°C. are best for optimum and rapid germination.
Seedlings emerge in approx. 21-40 days.
However if the seeds are shy to germinate – Then cling wrap the moist sown punnet and place in the fridge (not freezer) for 4-6 weeks.
Then remove, unwrap and return to well-lit position at 15-18°C. and continue to keep moist.
SEED COUNT: 50 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count and give a generous serve).
GROWING: Soldanella pusilla
Height with flowers: 12cm approx.
Width: 20cm approx.
Position: Ideally Partial Shade with a little Morning Sun to Full Shade.
They can tolerate some direct sunshine but harsh, hot sun will scorch the lovely leaves.
Soil: Grows very happily in consistently moist conditions but not waterlogged.
Enjoys heavier clay based soils opened up with gravel, or loam with plenty of compost or organic matter.
Frost: Very frost hardy to at least -15C.
Growth: Dwarf perennial rosette.
Bees & Birds: Bees and also other beneficial pollinators are really grateful for these very early blooms during winter.
Care: Keep new plants watered after planting but otherwise minimal care is needed once established.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Resistant to these pests because they find it unpalatable. Protection from slugs and snails in the Winter and Spring may be required. Mainly before flowering because buds form down near ground level so they are very susceptible to chomp damage before blooming.
Origin: Native to Bulgaria, Romania and from the toe of Italy north to Austria.
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