The Scarlet Pimpernel is a low-growing annual with brightly colored flowers. Leaves are bright green, soft, ovate and in pairs on the stems. Flowers have 5 spreading petals and 5 stamens. It is grown for its small, abundantly produced flowers. The flowers only open on sunny days and they even close in overcast conditions. This has lent the name shepherd’s weather glass to this plant. Native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. It is toxic. Hardy in zones 3-12.
Growing Instructions for the Scarlet Pimpernel
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year. 1. Put the seeds in a ziplock bag. 3. Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there for 4-6 weeks. 2. Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil. Gently press them into the surface of the soil. 3. Barely cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. They need light to germinate. 4. Water the seeds. 5. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.