GROWING AND SAVING SEEDS OF KISS-ME-OVER-THE-GARDEN-GATE
Latin name Persicaria orientalis (formerly Polygonum orientale) is an annual member of the buckwheat family. The tall plants produce pretty pink pendulous blooms. A staple cottage garden flower.
Native to East Asia, from China to the Himalayas. Grown by Thomas Jefferson in his flower garden.
- Beds, borders, cottage garden, cutting garden
- Dried for flower arrangements
- Seeds can take from 14-60 days to germinate. They are slow to start but quite easy to grow once germinated.
- Place seeds in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, remove and sow indoors in pots and transplant young seedlings outdoors after last chance of frost, or direct seed after last chance of frost.
- Alternatively, you can direct seed in fall, allowing winter to do the work of stratification.
- Ideal germination temperature (after stratification) is 65-75 F.
- Provide plants with full to part sun.
- Prefers low-fertility soils; avoid fertilizing or planting in super rich soil.
- Plants have average water needs. Do not overwater, but do not let young seeds/seedlings dry out.
- Deadhead to encourage continued blooming.
- Plant in a protected area, away from heavy winds.
- While there are no pest or disease issues with this plant, growers in the southeastern U.S. should consider this plant's potential to become weedy before sowing, as it can become slightly invasive in the South.
- Sowing very close to water and consistently moist soil can also encourage a more weedy habit from the plants because the seedlings will not dry out in spring and thin themselves.
- Plants very readily reseed themselves in the garden, but you can also save your own seed.
- Allow flower heads to turn brown and dry on plants, then clip the heads and save seeds.
- They should be dried in a brown paper bag for a week in a dark, dry place.
- Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place over winter.