The Q&A Archives: Growing Ipomopsis

Question: I would like to start Ipomopsis from seed in the next few weeks but someone told me they thought that it would not bloom the first year. Is this true? If so, how big will the leaves and stocks grow this year and what can I plant with it to add color tothe area this year that will stand the Oklahoma SUMMER HEAT.

Answer: Ipomopsis is generally referred to as annual but in your area it may perform as a perennial. This puts it in an interesting predicament in my opinion. Because of its annual designation it will probably flower the first year, because as an annual that is her only shot! You see, annuals are living their whole lifetime in one season so they are in a big rush to "show off" and get everyone's attention. Now, because it may behave as a perennial in your climate, it may not flower much the first season. This is because, perennials on the other hand, are more like us. They spend the first part of their life establishing roots and a secure place to live. Then, as they get a bit older, they begin to do what they were put here to do...bloom and reproduce. Thankfully with perennials, this only takes a season or two to accomplish not 30 years or so like we need! Regardless of bloom, I would expect the plant to reach 3' this season if watered and fed appropriately. If you want to be more sure of bloom, try the plants offered by Burpee instead of seed. Burpee offers several planned gardens that will withstand sun and heat and would complement the Ipomopsis. Two come to mind for your conditions, "Flights of Fancy" will have a lot ofcolor and bring lots of butterflies and hummingbirds. "Long, Hot Summer Garden" also features a lot of color and is designed for hot, dry conditions. Check them out in the 1998 Burpee catalog.

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