Collinsia verna (Blue-Eyed Mary) [20 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend blue-eyed Mary seeds only for very patient and careful gardeners, because this species has a different growth cycle than many annuals. It is considered a “winter annual”: It drops its seeds in summer and they sprout in fall, overwinter as small seedlings (very easy to mistake for weeds), and then fill out in bloom in spring. So, if you want to grow blue-eyed Mary, you have to sow in early June to early August in the spot where you want them to bloom next spring. Make sure the site is open (not thickly mulched or leaf-covered) so they can sprout in fall, and remember not to accidentally pull them out or disturb them with other planting in that spot in early spring. Surface-sow or just barely cover the seeds when you scatter them. Once you get blue-eyed Mary to flower in your garden, it is likely to self-sow to some extent.

By the way, I have had good luck with transplanting the seedlings while they are still small (in late February to mid March here). I keep a “nursery” patch of blue-eyed Mary in a bed in my vegetable garden and plant bush beans in that spot as a useful summer filler; the beans are done well before the blue-eyed Mary seedlings appear in fall. Then I move some of the seedlings in early spring to other parts of the garden to enjoy for flowers and keep the original patch for seed production.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna) is such a charming little annual, gracing the spring garden with 12- to 18-inch-tall mounds of blue-and-white, lipped blooms. Native to parts of eastern and central North America, it is an early source of pollen and nectar for bees and some butterflies too. Here in my Pennsylvania garden, it started flowering in mid-April and is still going (though looks to be nearly finished) in late May. It grows best in partial shade with average to rich, moist but well-drained soil.

Collected in late May 2023. At least 20 seeds per packet. Unknown ecotype (original seeds were from MO). Shipping to US addresses only.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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