How to Plant and Grow Forget-Me-Not Cynoglossum Blue

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Forget-me-not cynoglossum blue, more often called Chinese forget-me-not or hound's tongue (Cynoglossum amabile) is a fuss-free biennial flower that's usually treated as an annual. Chinese forget-me-not blooms in its first year, producing small, light blue flowers late spring through fall. The stems and leaves are coarse and gray-green, and the plants grow 1 to 2 feet tall and 8 to 12 inches wide. You can sow Chinese forget-me-not in pots indoors for transplanting into the garden, or sow the seed directly in the soil.

Sowing Chinese Forget-Me-Not

In climates that experience frosts, sow Chinese forget-me-not in pots indoors six to eight weeks before the average last frost date, or outdoors one week before the same date. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, you can also sow Chinese forget-me-not outdoors in fall.

Tip

  • Chinese forget-me-not fade during hot summer weather.

Sowing in Pots

Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch plant pots with drainage holes
  • General purpose potting soil
  • Chopstick or similar stick

Step 1

Fill a 4-inch plant pot that has drainage holes with potting soil to 1/2 inch below the pot rim.

Step 2

Sprinkle Chinese forget-me-not seeds over the potting soil surface, so there is about 1/4 inch between each seed.

Step 3

Sprinkle potting soil over the seeds so they are only just covered.

Step 4

Stand the pot in water until the potting soil's surface glistens with moisture. Remove the pot from the water and allow it to drain, then place it in a bright, frost free place such as a sunny windowsill. Water the pots when the soil surface is dry.

Step 5

Separate the Chinese forget-me-not seedlings into individual pots when they produce their second set of leaves. Gently ease the seedlings out of their pots with a chopstick or similar implement, and plant them to their original growing depth in a 4-inch plant pot filled with potting soil.

Step 6

Place the seedlings in their pots in a bright, frost-free place and water them when the soil surface is dry.

Tip

  • Turn the pots 180 degrees every day to help prevent the seedlings leaning toward the light.

Sowing Outdoors

Chinese forget-me-not grows well in most freely draining soils and spots that receive at least six hours of direct sun each day. There's no need for any soil amendment unless the soil is poorly drained. In heavy clay and other soils with poor drainage, mixing a 3-inch layer of compost into the soil to a depth of 6 inches can help improve the growing conditions. Sow the Chinese forget-me-not seeds where you want the plants to grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork
  • Rake
  • Watering can fitted with a fine rose spray

Step 1

Break up the soil with the garden fork to a depth of about 6 inches, and rake it so it is even. Rake the soil surface until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Step 2

Scatter Chinese forget-me-not seeds over the soil's surface so that there's about 1/4 inch between each seed. Lightly rake the soil surface so that the seed is barely covered.

Step 3

Water the seed with a watering can fitted with a fine rose spray or a gentle spray on a garden hose until the soil is moist to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Water the seed when the soil surface is dry.

Step 4

Remove the smallest and thinnest seedlings when the plants are about 2 inches tall, so there is about 8 inches between each remaining seedling.

Transplanting Chinese Forget-Me-Not

Indoor-sown Chinese forget-me-not plants can be transplanted into the garden after the last average frost date. Prepare the plants for transplanting by placing them in their pots outdoors in a spot sheltered from strong winds during the daytime for one week, and placing them outdoors in the same place day and night the next week.

Dig holes for Chinese forget-me-not plants the same depth as the plant pots and 2 or 3 inches wider, spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. Remove the seedlings from their pots, and place them in the holes at their original growing depths. Fill in the gaps around them with dug soil, and gently firm the soil with your hands. Water the seedlings with a watering can fitted with a fine rose spray or a gentle setting on a hose so the soil is moistened to the depth of the plant root balls.

Growing Chinese Forget-Me-Not

Chinese forget-me-not flowers heavily for long periods with little care. It benefits from regular water, but fertilizer isn't needed to encourage growth or flowering. Water Chinese forget-me-not when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 inch, applying enough water to moisten the soil to the depth of the plant's roots.

Warning

  • Chinese forget-me-not self-seeds freely. To prevent plants from reappearing the following year, remove the flowers as they fade. This isn't easy as the plant produces many tiny flower.

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