Crop Rotation Group
Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with compost.
Full sun to partial shade.
Yes, rose campion is a hardy short-lived perennial that can tolerate winter cold to -34°C (-30°F).
Mulch over the plants’ root zones with rich compost just as new growth emerges in spring. Drench plants with a liquid fertiliser after cutting them back in midsummer to support the growth of new leaves.
Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 30cm (11") row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Start rose campion seeds indoors in late winter, or use winter sowing techniques to start them outdoors while the weather is still cold. Set out home grown or purchased seedlings as soon as the soil warms in spring. Young plants need water when they are actively growing. A surface mulch suppresses weeds while making the plants look more attractive. To propagate rose campion, look for seedlings with felted gray leaves growing near the mother clump in spring. Carefully lift individual seedlings from beneath, keeping soil packed around their roots, and gently transplant to a new location. In containers, use one plant per 35 cm (14-inch) wide pot. Upright rose campion combines well with pansies and other small annual flowers.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Individual plants live only a year or two, and are replaced by volunteer seedlings. When well pleased with its site, rose campion will reseed for many years, with new seedlings appearing in autumn and spring. Cutting back the plants by one third their size in midsummer improves the appearance of the luminous foliage. The species blooms a rich dark pink, but selections are available with white or pale pink flowers.
Rose campion is slow to establish and will not bloom well until its second year in the garden. After that, the plants put on a brilliant show every summer, with magenta to white blossoms against felted gray foliage. Gather stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them, or weave the long stems into garlands. Cutting old blossoms will stimulate modest reblooming. Allow a few spikes to stay on the plants until they shed mature seeds.
The heavily felted leaves of rose campion are ignored by most pests, including rabbits and deer.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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