Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Love-in-a-Mist
Nigella damascena

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nigella (ny-JELL-luh) (Info)
Species: damascena (dam-ASK-ee-nuh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

56 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Light Blue
Medium Blue
Dark Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 68 photos.
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16 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive andy_in_okf On Jun 25, 2014, andy_in_okf from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

I purchased white Love in a Mist seeds from Mount Vernon. I was able to get them to grow in Oklahoma in mostly shade. They grow about 8". It has barely reseeded but is a perennial. This year I realized how to release the seeds from the pod and will see if that will help it spread.

Positive Avalonparker On May 17, 2014, Avalonparker from Vancouver, BC
Canada wrote:

Please add to the list of where it grows
that it also grows well in Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Positive Oberon46 On Feb 3, 2014, Oberon46 from (Mary) Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) wrote:

A lovely plant and even more lovely flower. Like blue fairies. I planted Miss Jekyl two years ago. It does not come back like it does down south so this year I bought a jeweled variety. Hope they do well and will save seeds. Wonderful filler up here.

Positive cargarden On Sep 3, 2012, cargarden from Goodview, MN wrote:

This plant is a must have, grow some of them in my front yard & always get great comments on them. I always forget sometimes to collect the seeds as I do for Cleome. Love them

Negative bigarden On Jul 18, 2012, bigarden from Beecher, IL wrote:

I planted this once. What a mistake I made! It took me years to get rid of its progeny. It is at least as hardy and prolific as any weed. I would NOT recommend it. I also don't care for its appearance.

Neutral TiaLee1 On Jul 3, 2012, TiaLee1 from Rathdrum, ID (Zone 5b) wrote:

Yes, this is easy to grow from seed and is a pretty plant from foliage to seed pods.

However, if you do not want to be pulling out the seedlings of this prolific self-seeder forever, either don't grow it or put it somewhere it can run fee. Once planted, you will never need to plant it again. And may well wish you never had.

Positive VioletDumplin On Jun 8, 2012, VioletDumplin from Mobile City, TX wrote:

This is the first year I've grown love-in-a-mist and it's really a cool plant. Flowers very profusely and grows easily from seed. Here lately, however, it's been whispering nasty things to me as I stop to admire it: horrible, god-forbidden things that no human should hear. So be warned, it's beauty and easy nature mask something much more dark and sinister. Still I suppose I will harvest some seeds and continue enjoying its delicate beauty year after year, just with my hands over my ears.

Positive Gabrielle On Feb 28, 2012, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A very nice plant, both for the flower and the seed head. Blooms May-July in my garden. The number of seedlings that survive the winter is amazing!

Positive dsigngrrl On Mar 29, 2011, dsigngrrl from Springfield, MO wrote:

This unusual looking flower was here when I bought the house, and only through research did I find out what it was. It has self seeded each year, and I am very happy to note that this year is no exception. In fact, it did such a good job of it, I moved some to other locations throughout my yard to various gardens. So far, so good. I love this little guy, pretty ferny leaves, crazy beautiful flower, interesting seed pods... what's not to love?

Positive Lady_B On May 12, 2010, Lady_B from Bellevue, WA wrote:

The seeds for this plant were in a Wildflower packet I planted last April. We built a brand new raised garden with a 10 yd order of compost-topsoil-sand mix from a large nursery in Kent WA.
I sprayed "Spray and Grow" on the foliage 3 times during growing season. I had no idea what flowers to expect, and until today I did not know the name of this flower. The plant grew over 4 ft before any flowers appeared. The beautiful fine feathery foliage made a wonderful filler in other bouquets, as still no blossoms had appeared. Mid summer some buds began to appear and there was one single pink blossom at the top of each nearly 5 ft. plant.
Quite an experience, so I've found another wild flower packet and will plant this weekend. Of course, last summer was glorious. We actually saw the thermometer hit 105 here in Bellevue.
Today on May 13th it's 61 degrees outside.

Positive marti001 On Oct 15, 2009, marti001 from Somerset, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I grew this wonderful flower in my garden in Calif. Ventura County. It flourished and reseeded itself. Plus, as I had planted a mix of colors, after the second year I started to see other colors. It had cross pollenated itself and I had some stricking new colors. I miss it terribly and have added it to my want list for my new garden here in KY.

Positive anelson77 On May 11, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These hardy annuals reseed so reliably they may as well be perennial in Seattle. The seed germinate and the feathery foliage appears in the fall, and even survives hard freezes and snow. Mine are a divine light blue in the late spring. They grow everywhere, sun or part shade, dry or watered, in poor soil with no fertilizer. They are not weedy though, maybe slightly too freely reseeding but easy to pull where not wanted. After they bloom the dried seedpods are interesting looking.

Positive colliwobbles On Jul 23, 2008, colliwobbles from (Jana) Shoreline, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I scattered some seeds in a not-so-great flower bed back in 2004, and the flowers have become a perennial for me. This year, they produced the biggest plant yet, and it grew from a seed that must have been carried into our gravel driveway!

Positive Almaden On Dec 1, 2007, Almaden from San Jose, CA wrote:

Another presentation of the lovely seed pod that is very attractive in floral arrangements: cross-sectioned. Cutting the seed pod cleanly through the middle (perpendicular to the stem) reveals the beautiful symmetry of the chambers of the pod, decorated with the little black dots of the seeds.
This is a plant that keeps on giving visual pleasure in its many forms.

Positive kviolette On Feb 14, 2005, kviolette from Raleigh, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite and most reliable plants in the garden. They self sow in sufficient numbers that voles cannot eat them all; they bloom Mayish after the seedlings winter over (Raleigh, NC Z7b/8a); and they remain ornamental all season long. They begin with blooms ranging in color from white to blue and with few pinks here and there and finish off with greatly interesting seed pods. Then, in late August, hundreds of seedlings begin poking up when the rest of the garden is thinking about winding down for the year. Highly recommend planting some!


Positive tzatzu On Jun 2, 2004, tzatzu from Santa Maria, CA wrote:

Very easy to grow. When left to self seed a new crop comes up all year long (on Central Coast, CA). The buds and flowers make beautiful cut flower arrangements. The flowers last up to 4 days in plain water. . .may last longer with use of florist tricks.

Positive angelam On May 27, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

I let this plant self-seed all over my garden. They flower early and can be over and removed while other plants are still getting underway. The blue form starts a wishy-washy shade and darkens over the 2-3 days individual blooms last. I also grow them for the seed pods which can last for weeks. I've found the blue flower pods are rather non-descript, and so get removed except for the few plants I leave for seed. The white flowers have pods that are a rather attractive pinky grey colour which look quite impressive left in clumps in a perennial bed.

Positive Ladyfern On Aug 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I've found that seeds planted in the spring as normally recommended produces small plants that grow small flowers. They do much better when the seed is scattered in the summer. They sprout, overwinter as seedlings, and then shoot up and look great in the spring. They're done flowering about the time the perennials are coming into it, so then you pull out all the spent Nigella and let the perennials take over. A nice ferny filler to let self-sow. You need to watch the flowers, though, if you like the doubles. I promptly pull out the ones that are singles to try to keep the doubles reseeding.

Neutral lantana On Jan 4, 2001, lantana from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Grows in Heat Zones 12-2.

Neutral gardener_mick On Nov 5, 2000, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

Love-in-a-mist is an annual that grows 1 to 1-1/2' tall. This plant has a branching habit. The most common colors are blue and white; but pink, red, and purple are also available. The foliage is lacey and fern-like giving the plant an airy feel. The flower is short-lived, but if seeds are sown every 2-3 weeks, you can extend this period through the summer. This plant is native to southern Europe and North Africa.

The seed pods are great for dried arrangements. To dry them, you need to cut the pods when they are still green and fresh looking. Wrap the stems with a piece of wire or string and hang upside down in a dry place until they are dry.

Two varieties are: 'Persian Jewels' and 'Miss Jekyll'


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (4 reports)
Arley, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Anchorage, Alaska
Little Rock, Arkansas
Arcata, California
Berkeley, California
Clayton, California
Fairfield, California
Georgetown, California
Merced, California
Middletown, California
Mountain View, California
Salinas, California
San Anselmo, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Ana, California
Santa Clara, California
Sebastopol, California
Stockton, California
Willits, California (2 reports)
Newark, Delaware
Valparaiso, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Rathdrum, Idaho
Aurora, Illinois
Beecher, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Glendale Heights, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Anderson, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Tompkinsville, Kentucky
Deridder, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
West Monroe, Louisiana
South China, Maine
Cumberland, Maryland
Mechanicsville, Maryland
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Brown City, Michigan
Lake Orion, Michigan
Cambridge, Minnesota
La Crescent, Minnesota
Winona, Minnesota
Clinton, Mississippi
Springfield, Missouri
Bayville, New Jersey
Farmington, New York
Ithaca, New York
Van Etten, New York
West Kill, New York
Concord, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Akron, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbia Station, Ohio
Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Cave Junction, Oregon
Drain, Oregon
Millerstown, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Somerset, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Christiana, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Allen, Texas
Austin, Texas
Dickinson, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Rockwall, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Ogden, Utah
Bristol, Virginia
Woodbridge, Virginia
Alderwood Manor, Washington
Bellevue, Washington
Chewelah, Washington
Chimacum, Washington
Freeland, Washington
Kalama, Washington
La Conner, Washington
Seattle, Washington (3 reports)
Spokane, Washington
Sumner, Washington
Woodland, Washington
Marinette, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

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