Here we will discuss how to grow Bird’s Eyes Gilia from seed. Gilia is a lovely annual wildflower that really stands out in mass plantings, and is a heavy nectar producer, so a very good lure for bees and other beneficial insects.

General
Annual wildflower known as Bird’s Eyes

Latin
Gilia tricolor
Family: Polemoniaceae

Difficulty
Easy

Exposure: Full sun
Zone: 6-10

Timing
Gilia is most successful if direct sown outdoors 2-3 weeks before last frost, or in the autumn in mild climates. Alternately, start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost, and harden seedlings off gradually in a cold frame before transplanting.

Starting
Sow seeds 2mm (1/8″) deep. At a temperature of 12-18°C (55-65°F) seeds should germinate in 17 to 21 days.

Growing
Transplant after last frost into average, well drained soil. G. tricolor can grow in quite sandy conditions and is drought tolerant, so it’s useful for xeriscaping. Space plants 23-33cm (9-15″) apart. Gilia may self sow in the right conditions, but it does not become weedy and is easy to control.

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