Lychnis Year One and Year Two

April 16, 2011

One of my blogging contacts who lives in a more northern zone than I do, was asking me about the Lychnis 'Rose Campion' and getting it to bloom every year.   It's a biennial and each plant blooms once, copiously spreads it seeds, which will grow into 'year one' plants the next year, then wonderfully bloom and spead copious amounts of seeds again the year after that! 

The trick is to keep some of the seeds from the flowers and throw them, unceremoniously, on the ground where you want them to bloom two years hence!   The seeds keep just fine in the cupboard for over two years, so you can make sure you plants some each year. 

Or you could just buy them from nurseries and plant them two years in a row!

My contact was asking me if the seeds might stay dormant in the ground for more than one winter, and this I do not know. 

But in case they do, the second picture is what the year one seedlings should look like when the snow is off:

Lychnis 'Rose Campion' Year One
(those little seedlings in the middle, will grow and bloom year after next)

Lychnis 'Rose Campion' Year Two
(will bloom grow tall stalks and bloom this year)

Rose Campion blooming beside Evening Primrose.

The lychnis that I have always grown is a beautiful magenta pink. It's just one of my very favourites and was the first one of my plants that my husband ever commented on.

A friend of mine from Oregon sent me some seeds for white Rose Campion two years ago.  She is a Master Gardener and she told me to plant it as far away from the pink ones, as I could, as sometimes they will cross-pollinate and all become 'light pink'.   I planted half the seeds when I got them (in 2009) and the other half of the seeds last summer (2010), so I should have my first flowers this year and every year after. 

That's according to my 'master plan' anyway! 

Happy Gardening. 


  1. Very nice post Diane. I don't know if I have see lychnis before but they sure are pretty. Looks like you have a lovely garden.

  2. Hi Diane, the lychnis in bloom are so pretty! Hope your white ones will be added to cheer to your garden this year :) Cheers, Jenni

  3. Thank you for the pictures! I'm so excited - I have plants that should bloom this year! I have about three plants that look like your "year two" picture. What good news on this gloomy, snowy day!

  4. Hi Diane. Missed this post the other day. Your gardens are looking lovely so far. Wish I had that much going on. Very pretty. Your flickr album is great and I could see many interesting blog posts you could do of those photos. A couple different posts of the birds, several to a post, one for critters, woods, and then one for the bears. :) You take great photos and I for one really enjoyed going through them. It does seem to be quite hard gathering other's interest in blogs, not sure why. Be persistent, that is what I am doing. You can be sure I enjoy reading what you put up.
    Goldenray Yorkies


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