Sapphire flowers bloom heavily from early spring to fall frost and year-round in sunny windows or greenhouses. They're at their best in cool or coastal gardens, but with partial shade or an eastern exposure they will consistently grow well elsewhere.
Description of sapphire flower: B. speciosa varieties grow in a loose mound to 18 inches high and as wide, their lax habit allowing them to trail. The most-planted variety of B. viscosa (Sapphire) is a compact, rather stiff plant that doesn't trail.
Growing sapphire flower: Plant in rich, well-drained soil but keep moist. Plant larger varieties 10 inches apart and dwarf ones 6 inches apart. Browallia is a good shade plant, although with looser habit and sparser flowers. Feed lightly on a biweekly schedule or incorporate a summer-long, slow-release fertilizer in the soil at planting.
Propagating sapphire flower: By seed or by cuttings. Start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to planting out after the last frost. Seeds need light to germinate, so do not cover. At temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, they'll take 14 to 21 days to germinate. Softwood cuttings taken in the spring or fall root promptly. For large plants in 10-inch hanging baskets, add 4 weeks to the growing time.
Uses for sapphire flower: Sapphire flowers are grown in beds, borders, or rock gardens. Compact plants make good edges for a tall border. They are also excellent container plants.
Sapphire flower related varieties: Most planted speciosa varieties are the Bells: Blue Bells Improved, mid-blue and most popular, Marine Bells, a deep indigo blue; Sky Bells, a clear azure blue; and Silver Bells, pure white. Viscosa varieties include Sapphire, deep blue with a white eye; Blue Troll, a dwarf variety in mid-blue; and its counterpart, White Troll.
Sapphire flower scientific name: Browallia speciosa, viscosa
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