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Forget-Me-Nots - A Gardener's Guide To Planting The Alaska State Flower

Flower BordersAlaska! Known for his wintry climates and soltice sunlight, Alaska is the breeding ground for the Alaska State flower, the Forget-Me-Not. Colored in sky blue, with a white inner ring and a yellow center, the Forget-Me-Not was chosen as the Alaska State flower in 1949. So, what is the history of the Forget-Me-Not? Under what conditions does it grow best and when is it best to plant and sow seeds?

HISTORY In the genus family of the Forget-Me-nots, there are over 50 species. by historical account, we believe the Forget-Me-Not, which grows in abundance along river banks and stream beds, was often picked by Knights and given to their lovers. The flower would be worn by the lover as a sing of faithfulness and enduring love with assurance the Knight would not be forgotten. It is a flower connected with romance and tragic fate of the knighting profession of the 15th century. In a wedding display, Forget-Me-Nots offer a great accent to daffodils and tulips.

GARDENING Considered a wild flower, loved by butterflies, the Forget-Me-Not is generally 1cm in diameter with a flowering 5-petal bloom. The seed is most receptive to growth in Zone 3, pefers partial to full shade and is generally planted in the spring after the last episode of frost. Because the plant is shade receptive, it is a beautiful addition to the landscaping below a tree or among bushes. The seeds of the Forget-Me-Not are very sticky and should be planted in a fertile compost mix where moisture is abundant. If seeds are planted in early Spring they will grow into a dome shaped plant and bloom the following spring. Blooms are evident from May through July at which point seeds can be gathered, collected, washed and stored for sowing the following year.

Because they grow most profusely in shaded areas, Forget-Me-Nots should be planted 4-5" apart, in a general purpose fertilizer, covered in 1/8" of soil and mulched in the winter. As a biennial, the following spring, your garden will have a beautiful array of flowers in a large pool or mass.

TROUBLESHOOTING While bees, moths and butterflies favor the Forget-Me-Not, it is a resilient flowering plant with rare episodes of insect infestation and disease. Considered a mytosis, the Forget-Me-Not's biggest disadvantage is the requirement of moist soil and it's tendancy toward profuse flowering. In some cases, it has been noted that the Forget -Me-Not grows in over abundance and may be difficult to control.

As the Alaska State Flower Forget-Me-Nots are commonly found, in the wild, along stream edges. As a romantic gesture to a lover, the Forget-Me-Not offers an unspoken message of undying affection and loyalty. A garden full of Forget-Me-Nots will provide many years of beauty and create a sense of romance within your landscape setting. Weddings, baby showers and graduation flower arrangements will commonly display Forget-Me-Nots as a symbol of passion.

By Christine Cadena - With more than 15 years as a professional writer, Christine specializes in topics related to health, insurance, finance and legal issues. Her work as been utilized by Examiner.com, Movable Media, Squidoo, l...  

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