A Guide to Growing Trachelium Caeruleum
Trachelium caeruleum is the Latin name for a flowering plant also known as blue throatwort. This is a beautiful flower with showy blooms and foliage. Even though the name mentions the color, blue, the flowers come in several other colors as well, including purple, pink, and white.
Blue throatwort has been around for a very long time, having first achieved great popularity in the Victorian Era. It is sometimes used for cut flowers but most often planted to give added color to flower gardens. Trachelium caeruleum is in the Campanulaceae, or bellflower family.
The individual blue flowers are only around a half inch in diameter but they grow together in large bunches that are as much as eight inches across. That is why they are used in bouquets of cut flowers--they often fill in space between other flowers. In bouquets, the blooms last around ten days.
Trachelium caeruleum originated in the Mediterranean area and is best acclimated to warm weather. In the southern United States, it can be grown as a perennial but only as an annual in northern regions. You can propagate it by seeds or by cuttings. If you are going to plant seeds, do so inside, at least three months before the date of the last frost in your area. The alternative is to buy seedlings in the spring and transplant them in the garden.
This plant grows to be three feet high and is equally as wide. The leaves are toothed and have a purple hue. The plant will start blossoming in mid-summer and continue until there is a killing frost in the fall. It is one of those plants that require well-drained soil. It also needs partial shade, and this is especially true in warmer climates where there is a sizzling afternoon sun.
Caring for blue throatwort is relatively easy. You should begin in the spring by moving any old foliage and adding some organic fertilizer. A good three-inch mulch of compost spread under the plants will do a good job of getting nutrients to the plant. You will need to keep the soil watered during dry weather.
Among the pests which bother Trachelium caeruleum are spider mites and aphids. Both can be controlled organically in several ways. First of all, spraying them off the leaves with a heavy burst of water from a garden hose will kill aphids. They are easier to kill than many pests because they have a body which is soft-shelled.
Aphids and spider mites and many other small, similar pests can be killed by mixing together dishwashing liquid and water and then spraying the leaves of the plants. Don’t forget to spray the underside of every leaf as well because the aphids cover both sides of the leaf surface. Another variation is to add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the soap and water.
These small insects can also be deterred with sprays made from hot and spicy substances, such as cayenne peppers, garlic or onions. Cut up any of these and boil in a gallon of water for a minimum of fifteen minutes. Wait for it to cool and spray onto the infected plants.
If you are looking for an attractive, flowering plant, you can’t go wrong with Trachelium caeruleum. Try growing it in your garden next season.