Love-lie-bleeding is a very special plant and not just because of its melodramatic name. It’s red flowers grow in rope-like tassels 12” long or longer all over the coarse leaved bush-like annual creating a look in the garden that nothing else can equal. It is a real showstopper, if you like that sort of thing, and I do. I have always grown it in a border but it is very effective in a basket where the long tassels can drape over the edges. It is easily started from seed indoors and set out right after the last frost so that it can start blooming by mid summer. The flowers will last until frost and are attractive in both fresh and dried arrangements. I used them in my son’s wedding flowers, my daughters-in-law’s baby shower centerpieces and a corsage for a florist’s dinner where it was the hit of the evening.
Bloom: Blood red flowers hang in long pendulant tassels from mid summer to frost.
Size: 2-5’ H x 2’ W.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Soil: Average to lean, well drained.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance but susceptible to attack by aphids, root rot in poorly drained soils, aster yellows, fungal leaf spot, and viruses.
Propagation: Easily grown from seed collected from previous years’ flowers or purchased but must be started early because bloom time takes three months.
Companion plants: Celosia, gomphrena, pentas, zinnia, ornamental rhubarb.
- ‘Green Thumb’ (bright green tassels)
- ‘Summer Love’ (pink tassels)