Nicandra (Apple of Peru)
First discovered in a neighbours garden Nicandra (Apple of Peru) has beautiful sky blue flower lanterns and striking foliage followed by green and black pods.
Nicandra, also know as the ‘Shoo Fly Plant’, is believed it to be a deterrent to aphids and will help other plants when grown together. A lovely natural solution called companion planting.
Nicandra is a handsome garden plant with tall architectural branches filling vases from high summer.
How to grow:
Nicandra is easy to grow, start seeds in Spring or direct sow from mid May. I have found the ideal germination temperature to be around 15-20°C. If you find that seeds are being a little stubbon, you can use a heat mat, but I normally just wait for warmer weather.
Note: Self sows freely, deadhead to avoid this and don’t compost the seed heads. I like to pick stems and seed pods for drying. For more detailed growing instructions join our ‘Grow Along’ on Instagram
Variety: Nicandra physalodes
Type: Half Hardy Annual
Position: Full Sun / Part Shade
Germination: Up to 30 days
Harvest: July onwards
Seeds per packet: 250 (Approx. counted by weight)
Cutting /Vase Life:
Don’t pick Nicandra stems too young the sappy stems stems can wilt. Wait for plants mature, stems will become a little woody and the attractive seed pods will form. Place stems straight into buckets of water and leave to rest preferably overnight this is called conditioning. Nicandra then has an excellent vase life of up to 2 weeks.