Anagallis Arvensis is a bright flowering plant that takes very less space. Here’s all you need to know about growing Scarlet Pimpernel.
Anagallis arvensis, commonly known as Scarlet Pimpernel, is a small annual herbaceous plant in the primrose family (Primulaceae). It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America.
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Anagallis Arvensis Information
Anagallis arvensis typically grows to about 10-30 cm in height and has star-shaped flowers that bloom from June to October. The scarlet pimpernel is often considered a weed due to its ability to grow in a wide range of soil types and habitats, including gardens, fields, roadsides, and disturbed areas. However, it has also been used in traditional medicine for various purposes, including as a diuretic and a treatment for skin conditions.
The plant is also known for its association with the fictional character of the same name in Baroness Orczy’s novel “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” The character used the flower as a symbol of his identity and to communicate with his followers.
How to Grow Anagallis Arvensis?
With these steps, you can easily grow Anagallis arvensis from seeds and enjoy its bright red flowers all summer.
- Scarlet pimpernel prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Choose a spot that gets at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
- The soil should be loose, moist, and fertile. Add sand or organic matter to improve drainage if the soil is heavy. You can also add some slow-release fertilizer to the soil to help the plant grow.
- You can sow Anagallis arvensis seeds directly into the soil in summers. Lightly rake the soil and sprinkle the seeds over the surface, then lightly cover them with the soil. Space the seeds about 6-12 inches apart.
- Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, as too much moisture can cause the seeds to rot. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry spells.
- Once the Anagallis arvensis seedlings emerge and grow a few inches tall, thin them out to allow more space for each plant to grow. Leave only the healthiest seedlings about 6-12 inches apart.
Requirements to Grow Anagallis Arvensis
Anagallis arvensis grows best in full sun to partial shade. For best flowers, make sure the plant gets a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Avoid growing it at a spot that gets shade for the most part of the day as it will limit the plant’s growth and flowers.
Scarlet pimpernel grows in a wide range of soil types but prefers well-draining, moist, and fertile soil. Adding organic matter or sand to heavy or compacted soil can improve drainage and enhance soil fertility. The growing medium should have a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0-7.0.
Anagallis arvensis prefers regular watering, especially during prolonged dry periods. It thrives in moist soil but does not tolerate waterlogged conditions. Water the plant when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch. Do not moisten the soil on daily basis and avoid wetting the foliage.
Scarlet pimpernel is an annual plant that prefers moderate temperatures between 15-35°C. The plant is not tolerant to extremely cold temperatures.
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Anagallis Arvensis Care
Anagallis arvensis does not require much fertilization. Applying a balanced fertilizer once in 2-4 months can help promote healthy growth and blooming, but be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth and fewer flowers.
Deadheading spent flowers can encourage additional blooms and prevent the plant from self-seeding. Pruning can also help control Anagallis arvensis’s size and shape.
Pests and Diseases
This plant is generally not susceptible to serious pest problems, but Anagallis arvensis can occasionally be attacked by spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies. These pests can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
These plants can also be susceptible to fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spot, and root rot. The plant should be grown in well-drained soil with good air circulation to prevent these diseases. Fungicides can be used to treat infected plants.
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Advantages of Anagallis Arvensis
- Anagallis arvensis is an easy-to-grow plant that blooms throughout the summer.
- It is a favorite among bees and butterflies, making it an excellent choice for those interested in supporting local wildlife.
- The leaves of Anagallis arvensis can be eaten raw or cooked, and the seeds can be used as a substitute for capers.
- Scarlet Pimpernel has been used for various medicinal purposes, including as a diuretic and a treatment for skin conditions.
- It is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much care once established.
- It can self-seed, which means that it will often reappear in the same area year after year.
- Anagallis arvensis has a shallow root system that helps stabilize soil and prevent erosion, making it a good choice for areas prone to erosion.