Gilia tricolor. Height to 30-45cm (12-18"). Bird's Eyes Gilia seeds are a charming California native wildflower that blooms from spring to mid-summer, producing long-lasting stems of chocolate-scented blue flowers with dark centres. These rise above the ferny foliage and open in sunshine, but close on cloudy days. This easy to grow, nectar-rich annual is attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It will grow in any sandy, well-drained soil and is suitable for xeriscaping. Suitable for Zones 6 to 10, with a preference for milder weather. Bird's Eyes Gilia seeds will work well in patio containers. In windy areas, give the plants a little support by pushing some twigs into the soil around them.
Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow 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. It is one of the easiest flowers to grow and its short height make it a nice addition to lawns.
Gilia tricolor and G. capitata
Exposure: Full sun
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. This is one of those annuals that requires almost no effort: Sprinkle seeds where they are to grow, and most gardeners will have a very high success rate.
Sow seeds 2mm (1/8″) deep. At a temperature of 12-18°C (55-65°F) seeds should germinate in 17 to 21 days.
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 will probably self sow in the right conditions, but it does not become weedy and is very easy to control.