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The Beauty of Love-in-a-Mist Annual Flowers Can Take Your Breath Away

Updated on July 10, 2018
Casey White profile image

Dorothy is a master gardener, former newspaper reporter, and the author of several books. Michael is a landscape and nature photographer.

Love-in-a-Mist Flowers Appropriately Named

My Facebook friend Sian Humphrey took this photo of some "Love-in-a-Mist" flowers.  Absolutely beautiful!  Thank you, Sian, for allowing me to share your photo.
My Facebook friend Sian Humphrey took this photo of some "Love-in-a-Mist" flowers. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you, Sian, for allowing me to share your photo. | Source

Flowers That Can Tranform Your Garden

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) flowers can transform an ordinary garden space into an enchanting, romantic area that you will love to show off. This article will explain how you can plant them so that you will have continuous flowers through the spring and summer, although you will still feel like you never have enough of them. The fennel-like foliage forms what appears as a mist around a single or sometimes double row of flowers, and the showy lines allow you to peek down into the face of a real beauty.

Known by Several Names

These annual flowers have also been called Ragged Lady, Devil in the Bush, Bird's Nest and Persian Jewels, but they actually belong to the buttercup family. The most popular ones are a bright blue, but they can also bloom in white, pink or purple and they self-sow very easily and bloom quickly, but are short-lived (to get started, just buy a packet or two of seeds, then you'll probably never have to buy seeds again). The plants are upright and bushy with finely dissected leaves and solitary flowers with petal-like sepals and feathery bracts. The flowers are followed by ornamental seed pods that are often used in floral arrangements.

The seed pods of Love-in-a-Mist flowers are often used in flower arranging.
The seed pods of Love-in-a-Mist flowers are often used in flower arranging. | Source

Tips for Successful Planting

  • Choose your location carefully, as it does not transplant well. You can sow the seeds in the early spring and throughout the summer in four-week intervals until they become self-sowing. If you live in a climate that has mild winters, you can sow them in the fall. Just scatter the seeds and rake them about; you don't even need to cover them with soil. Press them down, however, and keep the area moist.
  • Sowing the seeds every four weeks will insure that you will have continuous blooms throughout the spring and summer.
  • When looking for a site, choose one that gets at least some sun in the morning, or even full sun and keep in mind that these flowers grow to almost two feet in height, and with enough room, they will have a spread of about a foot wide.
  • Soil quality for these flowers is not a big issue, but they don't particularly sit well in wet soil, so you might try adding a little bit of compost if necessary. Putting them in an area that has good drainage is beneficial.
  • Soil with neutral pH is the best.
  • You'll have better success if you sow the seeds in a sunny location, but if you only have an area of partial shade, they should still be fine.

Love-in-a-Mist in Pink, White, Purple and Blue

Most of the time, 'Love-in-a-Mist' flowers are blue, but sometimes they can be found in pink, white or purple.
Most of the time, 'Love-in-a-Mist' flowers are blue, but sometimes they can be found in pink, white or purple.

Maintaining Love-in-a-Mist Flowers

If you keep your soil moist to slightly dry, your Love-in-a-Mist plants, once established, should grow very well and have very few problems. Only water them during dry periods (once or twice a week), and keep the weeds away from them.

Seeds will drop and re-seed the area every year and they are fact they are so prolific that you might want to think about some border edging to keep them contained, as they spread and multiply quickly.

These plants have very few diseases, or problems with insects.

The seeds of Love-in-a-Mist have many beneficial vitamins.
The seeds of Love-in-a-Mist have many beneficial vitamins.

Health Benefits of Seeds of Love-in-a-Mist

The tiny, jet-black seeds (either ground or in oil form) of these flowers have an abundance of benefits for your health because of the vitamins they contain - like potassium, iron and calcium - and other things that are good for you, like amino acids, crude fiber, and proteins. Plus, it is known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. I don't recommend you run out and buy a high-priced oil press machine for extracting the oil because you can simply buy some through Amazon, Wal-Mart or a drugstore. This is a list of some potential benefits of this little seed:

  1. Alleviates headaches - just try rubbing some of the oil on your forehead.
  2. Helps control blood pressure - drink half a teaspoon of the oil with warm water to help keep hypertension under control.
  3. Gets rid of skin problems, like acne and other blemishes - mix a cup of sweet lime juice with about a half a teaspoon of the oil and apply to your face morning and night.
  4. Boosts your memory - mixing the oil with a tiny bit of honey has been known to boost your memory. Try about 8-10 drops of the oil with about a teaspoon of honey each day and that should do it.
  5. Helps with breathing problems and asthma - Mix some of the ground seeds (I would just use a coffee grinder) with some honey and put it in warm water to drink. It will help with breathing problems but is not a quick fix. You will need to do it every day for a month or more, avoiding cold drinks and cold food during that time. This oil also contains approximately one-half to one-and-a-half percent volatile oils - nigellone and thymoquinone - responsible for the anti-histamine, broncho-dilating effect.
  6. Strengthens your immune system - Because the oil contains over a hundred different components like trace elements, vitamins and enzymes; and omega 6 and omega 3, which are necessary for the formation of Prostaglandin E1, it can strengthen your immune system. Prostaglandin E1 balances the immune system and gives it the power to fight infections and allergies.
  7. Helps to manage diabetes - If you have diabetes, take a half a teaspoon of the oil in a cup of black tea every morning to help manage your disease.
  8. Assists with weight loss - You simply need to add a pinch of ground kalonji seeds to a mix of warm water, honey, and lemon.
  9. Helps strengthen immunity - mix a small amount of the oil with honey and warm water.
  10. Reduces nasal congestion - Add a small amount of the oil to boiling water, then inhale the fumes.

Love-in-a-Mist Flowers in a Deeper Violet-Blue

If you desire darker blue Love-in-a-Mist flowers, you might want to look for some Persian Jewels Indigo seeds that will produce these gorgeous blooms.
If you desire darker blue Love-in-a-Mist flowers, you might want to look for some Persian Jewels Indigo seeds that will produce these gorgeous blooms.

Wow! Watch a Love-in-a-Mist Flower Bloom

© 2017 Mike and Dorothy McKenney


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