Clarkia pulchella

This is the first year I’ve grown Clarkia and I’m a believer now.  We grew it from seed for our plant sale at school and I was not impressed with its beginnings.  It was floppy and rangy and never could decide whether to grow up or down.  I transplanted four starts to a nursery pot and there was trouble.  Over the following month, three of the four starts withered and died.  They appeared to be suffering from too much or too little water, the leaves just collapsed and the entire plant died.  After talking with a few others who brought this plant home from the sale, I found that their Clarkia suffered similar fates.  We came to the conclusion that the young, tender roots do not like being disturbed, as watering was consistent.   They just don’t like transplanting. One person who took the Clarkia home has left it in the tiny little four-pack and she says it’s doing great!  So why does this little native resent having it’s roots disturbed?  Discovered by Lewis and Clarke, the journal entry by Lewis states that Clarkia pulchella was found in Idaho ‘on the steep sides of the fertile hills’.  That clue leads me to believe that it requires excellent drainage and perhaps rich potting soil absorbs too much moisture?  Hard to say for sure, as this is my first season growing Clarkia. The seeds are reported to germinate extremely well for gardeners.  I really like the flower show as it spills out of the pot and it’s been blooming for over a month.  Clarkia blooms in early summer and is an annual.  It reaches 6-18 inches in height (or length) and is a native to the Western US. I’m looking forward to growing it again next year!

One thought on “Clarkia pulchella

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s