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A small annual plant, baby blue eyes is scientifically known as Nemophila insignis. Nemophilia bloom in the summer, displaying soft pastel flowers. The border plants are also known as "five spot plants," and are not considered edible nor medicinal.
Baby blue eyes typically do not grow over 10 inches (25 centimeters) in height. Most only grow up to 6 inches (15 centimeters). The flowers, which are typically powder blue with white centers, can grow up to 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) in diameter. The flowers, which cover the small plants, can also be darker shades of blue or purple. Some varieties may be spotted or striped.
Though baby blue eyes are hardy plants, they should still be planted before the last frost of spring to ensure that they will grow. Cool, dry areas work best for the propagation of these plants. They should be covered only lightly with soil, then lightly watered regularly in order to be kept moist for optimal growing conditions. Full sunlight or partial shade is usually recommended for these plants.
To protect against possible frost, seeds may be planted indoors up to a month before outdoor seeding. They grow quickly, often in less than two weeks, and can usually be transplanted well, if done so in optimal growing conditions. Transplanted baby blue eyes should be spaced at least 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) apart. Plants may be able to grow in dry soil, but they cannot tolerate humidity well.
Roots of baby blue eyes plants should be kept moist and cool. In order to accomplish this, most gardeners cover the bases of the plants with a rich supply of mulch. Once established properly, the plant self-sows and can propagate itself freely if left alone. To prevent a wide range of the flowers, browned, spent flowers should be trimmed off the plants.
Gardeners seeking small, attractive border plants or bedding edges may wish to incorporate baby blue eyes in their landscaping plans. The low-growing flowers make lovely basket plants or container flowers for those who wish to hang a patch of color around a porch or yard display. Members of the Hydrophyllaceae family, baby blue eyes can also be a lovely addition to rock gardens, garden paths, and walkways.
Helpful bees are attracted to these flowers. Planting Nemophilia can ensure that gardens are filled with the buzzing insects as well as songbirds and other pleasant wildlife. Butterflies also flock to the flowers.
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