Image by Tanaka Juuyoh
By Bonnie L. Grant
Baby blue eyes plant is native to part of California, particularly the Baja area, but it is a successful annual in many other parts of the United States. Learn how to grow baby blue eyes for a spectacular display of soft blue or white flowers that attract important garden pollinators. Butterflies, bees and other helpful insects use the nectar as food. Growing baby blue eyes ensures these important insects stay in your yard to help pollinate other flowers and vegetables.
Baby Blue Eyes Plant
Baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii) is a low spreading shrub-like plant that has succulent stems and flowers with six curved blue petals. Baby blue eyes may get six to 12 inches high and over a foot wide. The blue flowers have a romantic, soft hue that shows well with other pastel flowers as part of a native wildflower garden. You can expect baby blue eyes flowers in late winter where temperatures are moderate, and the plant blooms until late spring to early summer.
The baby blue eyes flower is an excellent plant to use in rockeries, containers and massed as border plants in annual gardens. They create one of the first displays of annual color after the snow and ice have melted. Baby blue eyes plants are native wildflowers in California and arid zones. They are an important part of the coastal prairie and easy to grow and care for as a garden plant.
How to Grow Baby Blue Eyes
The baby blue eyes flower is easy to start from seed. Choose a site with full sun to partial shade and one that provides some shelter from drying winds.
The plant does well in sandy, gritty soils and has some drought tolerance. In fact, light sandy soil makes the best seed bed for the baby blue eyes flower, as it drains well. Wait until soils warm to nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit before sowing the tiny seeds. Sow seeds just under a fine layer of soil about 1/16-inch thick.
Baby blue eyes flower will germinate in 7 to 10 days where there is cool weather and short days. Keep the seedbed lightly moist until germination. Baby blue eyes plant seeds readily but does not transplant well. Fortunately, the plant is easy to sow and takes off quickly.
Caring for Baby Blue Eyes
Since baby blue eyes is a low growing plant with a succulent stem and leaves, caring for baby blue eyes requires little maintenance. It has moderate drought tolerance but will die back when confronted with severe dry conditions.
The plant does not need fertilizer when planted in areas with organically rich soil.
Pinch the tips of the growth to force bushier plant formation. Once the plant has flowered and seed heads formed, cut them off and dry them in a paper bag. Shake the bag after a week and then pick out the larger pieces of chaff. Save the seeds until the following spring and re-sow for a new crop of this wonderful plant.