A Lot to Love about Love in a Mist

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

We selected Love in a Mist as February 2021’s flower of the month for good reason: you’ll easily fall in love with it! With its wispy, lace-like foliage, this wildflower helps give Nigella damascena its romantic name – Love in a Mist. The name was earned because the lovely blooms appear to be nestled into a surrounding bed of feathery, misty foliage. Take a look at our colorful offerings here.

Plant History

Love in a Mist is a popular cool-weather annual which blooms in early summer. Belonging to the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, this flower has charmed its way into cottage gardens for hundreds of years. Nigella damascena is native from Southern Europe to Northern Africa, and has long been used as a medicinal and culinary plant. Its botanical Genus name comes from the Latin word for small and black, referring to the black seed capsules it produces, and the species name is after the city of Damascus, Syria, where it’s said these flowers grew wild.

A cottage garden staple, Love in a Mist lends itself to many styles of garden design. This unique flower stands out in any garden with its lacey-green bracts and attractive seed pods will continue to add interest where its blooms once stood. Love in a Mist makes a wonderful cut flower and the eye-catching seed capsules are often used in flower arrangements both fresh and dried. 

Growing Love in a Mist

Easy to grow, Love in a Mist grows up to 18 – 24 inches in height and prefers full sun. They are best planted directly in the garden, as transplanting is generally unsuccessful. Seeds can be sown in the garden as soon as the ground is workable. In cool summer climates, additional plantings can be done every 3 – 4 weeks until mid-summer. Sprinkle seeds on the soil surface and lightly compress the soil, as they need sunlight to germinate. Nigella damascena prefers average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Flowers are nearly pest and disease free and are best grown in USDA zones 3 through 9. In any warmer climates, they do not perform well.

Love in a Mist seed pods provide special interest for people who create bouquets! They have an alien-like appearance with their spindly tops and purple striped pods.

Love in a Mist blooms in late spring / early summer, but will leave behind unique, sculptural seed pods for added interest in your garden or floral designs! It’s a truly captivating addition to beds, borders, and containers. Though Love in a Mist is an annual, it is a reliable self-seeder and will come back in the same spot year after year. 

This cultivar is known for the bright and cheerful blue-blossom variety, however it comes in additional flower colors including white, pink, and violet or a mix including all as shown above.