by Jennifer Poindexter
Some people have a taste for the traditional and others prefer unique. If you’re someone who is in the middle, you must consider growing five spot flowers in your garden.
These flowers are also known by their scientific name as nemophila maculata. They’re also, sometimes, simply called fivespot.
Whatever you choose to call it, you shouldn’t be disappointed. This flower produces a classic, buttercup shaped bloom.
However, it also has unique touches. The flower is white, but each petal has a dark purple spot on its tip.
Hence, how the flower received its name. This flower appears to be the perfect mix between tastes. If you think it would be a great addition to your landscape, stick around.
I’m going to inform you of what you should know to successfully grow the five spot flower. Here’s where you should start:
Growing Conditions for the Five Spot Flower
Five spot flowers are unique in both their blooms and preferences. To start, this plant prefers cooler temperatures. They’re annuals and can’t handle frost, but consider their temperature needs before settling on a specific growing location.
This flower should be planted in full to partial sunlight. If you live in a warmer climate, try to find a planting location that receives morning sunlight but afternoon shade to protect the flowers from becoming scorched.
Five spot flowers also prefer well-draining soil. However, they aren’t particular about soil nutrients. As long as you have a space where the flowers won’t become overly saturated and have the right amount of lighting to provide adequate temperatures, they should be happy.
This flower can grow in a variety of settings as it only grows to be between a half foot and one foot tall.
Therefore, it does well in traditional garden plots, hanging baskets, and containers. It’s a great choice for edging and is a good fit for rock gardens as well.
As you can tell, the five spot flower is a flexible plant with growing conditions that shouldn’t restrict your landscaping visions in most cases.
Provide what this plant needs, and you should have gorgeous, unique blooms throughout the spring and summer.
How to Plant the Five Spot Flower
Five spot flowers are easy to plant. There’s typically one method used because these flowers don’t handle being transplanted well.
However, for the more advanced gardener, I’ll share how to start the seeds indoors as well. For now, let’s discuss how to direct sow seeds into their permanent growing location.
Begin by ensuring the soil is ready to receive seed by tilling it. The dirt should be loose before planting.
Direct sow five spot flower seeds into the soil after all threat of frost is over in the spring. Plant the seeds 1/16 of an inch deep, and use a rake to lightly cover them.
Once they’ve sprouted, thin the new plants to where there’s a half foot of space between each seedling. It can take the seeds up to three weeks to germinate.
There are some experienced gardeners who still attempt to start five spot flowers indoors. Some have found success, but it can be tricky as these plants don’t like for their roots to be disturbed once established.
However, if you live where your growing window is small, you can attempt to start this flower indoors. Be sure to start the seeds two months prior to the final frost.
Fill a growing tray with well-draining soil, and sow two seeds per cell in the tray. This way you’ll have a back-up in case one seed fails to germinate.
Lightly mist the soil with a spray bottle of water and ensure it remains consistently moist until the seeds sprout.
You can cover the growing tray with plastic wrap to provide a greenhouse effect, but also be sure to place the tray where it will receive warmth.
Avoid oversaturated, cold soil to deter damping off from occurring. If your seedlings are attacked by this fungal disease, there’s no cure.
Once the seeds have sprouted, grown into seedlings, and have formed true leaves, they’re ready for transplant outdoors after all threat of frost is over.
Though we recommend directly sowing these seeds, you now have two methods for growing five spot flowers to suit your gardening style.
Caring for the Five Spot Flower
When caring for the five spot flower it needs only a few basic things. The first thing this plant needs is to be watered using the deep watering method.
The trick to deep watering is to water the plants for a longer period of time but fewer days of the week.
This allows the water to reach the plants’ roots at the time of application. However, as the days progress, the plants dig deeper to retrieve water in the ground surrounding them.
Therefore, forming stronger root systems which typically equate to healthier plants. This is also important to ensure the plants receive a balanced amount of water instead of becoming oversaturated.
You’ll know it’s time to add more water by checking the soil. Insert your finger into the ground next to the plants. When it’s dry to your first knuckle, you’ll know it’s time to have another watering session.
If the ground is still damp, hold off on watering for a few days. Test the soil again, and when it’s dry, water your five spot flowers again. Keep this routine going to supply the appropriate amount of water to your plants.
The next thing five spot flowers need is fertilizer. You can use a general fertilizer but be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging to apply the right amount. Apply the fertilizer to your flowers one time per month.
Our final task in caring for five spot flowers is weeding. You must keep the weeds under control. Do this by pulling them out of your garden when necessary. You can also apply mulch around the flowers to suppress weeds. This helps retain moisture around the plants as well.
Mulch is also a great tool for keeping the roots of the plants cool. This can help with maintaining ideal growing conditions around your flowers.
These are the only things five spot flowers need from you to ensure they maintain good health and grow abundantly in your growing spaces.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Could Impact the Five Spot Flower
The final concern we must discuss is protecting your five spot flowers from pests and diseases. Thankfully, there aren’t many things which threaten this gorgeous flower.
Five spot flowers have only one pest they commonly deal with, the aphid. The best way to treat aphids is by using an insecticide. You can also spray your plants, forcefully, with soapy water.
This will dislodge the pests from your plant and also remove the sticky sap aphids frequently leave behind.
If you see signs of aphids be sure to treat them quickly to avoid them growing in number and damaging your flowers.
The only diseases that seem to threaten five spot flowers are fungal based such as powdery mildew. You can treat fungal disease with a fungicide.
It’s best to stay ahead of fungal issues when possible. You can do this by planting your flowers in well-draining soil, avoiding overwatering your flowers, and ensuring they receive some sunlight throughout the day.
This will keep your flowers from growing in cold, wet soil as this is the perfect breeding ground for fungal disease. You should also properly space your five spot flowers to ensure air can flow between them to allow the foliage and soil to breathe.
By staying alert to these potential threats, you stand a greater chance at avoiding them or catching them before larger issues develop.
You now know what you must do to grow five spot flowers with success. You’re familiar with their growing conditions, how to plant the flower, caring for the flower, and also how to remain vigilant against things in nature which could harm your plants.
Hopefully, this information will help you start the growing process with ease and allow you to have a gorgeous array of five spot flowers blooming around your home or garden area.