Guide to Growing Chinese forget-me-not, Hound's Tongue, Gypsyflower & Wild Comfy Plant

Members of the genus Cynoglossum are long flowering biennials that are normally grown as annuals by gardeners.

They are weedy in nature and have forget me not flowers of blue, purple or white from the summer through to the end of autumn.

They have spearhead like leaves that are grey to green. Some common names for Cynoglossum include Chinese forget-me-not and Hound's tongue.

Pacific Hound's Tongue
Pacific Hound's Tongue by Dawn Endico; creative commons.

Cynoglossum officinale
Cynoglossum officinale by Matt Lavin.

Quick Cynoglossum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Chinese forget-me-not, Wild Comfy, Gypsyflower. Hound's Tongue: Common; Australian; Chinese; Hairy; Western.
Life Cycle: Hardy biennial usually grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 12 to 36 inches (30 to 90 cm).
Native: Asia, Africa, Europe.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 10.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Brilliant blue, white, purple. Similar to forget-me-not's. Five lobed.
Foliage: Grey-green. Lanceolate. Oval blades.
Sow Outside: 1/4 inch (6mm). Before last frost or autumn. Spacing: 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: four to ten days in the dark. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors from mid spring.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 6 to 7. Average soil. Provide support. Deadhead to prevent spread of seeds. Propagate: dividing in spring.
Miscellaneous: Cynoglossum officinale (Houndtoungue) is considered to be a noxious weed in the following US states: Colorado; Montana; Nevada; Oregon; Washington; and Wyoming.

How to Grow Chinese forget-me-not, Hound's Tongue & other Cynoglossum

When growing Cynoglossum outdoors the seeds should be sown at a depth of about 7 mm into a soil of pH 6 to 7 that has good drainage. Chinese forget-me-not prefers to grow in an area of the garden that is either sunny or partially shaded. Forget-me-not's should be sown either in the autumn or a couple of weeks before the last frost of summer.

When growing Chinese forget-me-not's as seedlings indoor for later transplanting then they should be prepared about 7 or 8 weeks before they are due to be planted outdoors at the end of spring. Once ready the Cynoglossum seedlings should be planted out with a space of about 25 to 30 cm.

Caring for Chinese forget-me-not

At the end of the growing season the flowers of Chinese forget-me-not should be dead headed to prevent the plant setting seed and taking over the garden.

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