Pasque flowers are hardy, low-maintenance plants that can withstand cool weather and rocky terrain with ease. This makes them a great choice for gardeners who can’t tend to their plants every single day.
Despite being easy to care for, you’ll still need to check a few boxes when planting and growing them.
Here’s a complete guide on how to grow Pasque flowers, including a planting guide, a care guide, and a few tips on what to expect with this plant and how to ensure it achieves its full potential.
A Short Overview Of The Pasque Flower
Also known as the pasqueflower or the European pasqueflower, this flowering plant can be found in European grasslands and meadows. These plants are hardy, and out in the wild, they often grow in alkaline soil.
The Pasque flower root is thick and becomes woody with time, and the flowers of the plant usually develop after the leaves.
The plant is rarely taller than 12 inches, but it can reach 16 inches when it starts bearing fruit. This can’t be observed from the surface, but the roots of this plant can grow up to 40 inches in length, making the Pasque flower a very long plant.
The most common flower is distinctly purple with silky golden stamens in the center. This, however, is only the European pasqueflower variety – there are hundreds of varieties with blue, yellow, white, and gray flowers!
When And Where To Plant Pasque Flowers
Pasque flowers are sown from seeds, and they germinate very quickly. They’re not difficult to plant and care for, which makes them ideal plants for beginners.
When To Plant Pasque Flowers
It’s best to plant Pasque flowers in late summer or late winter/early spring. The seed germinates quickly and you’ll see the first shoots of the Pasque flower less than a month after sowing the seeds.
Where To Plant Pasque Flowers
Pasque flowers need plenty of sun and well-drained soil to achieve their full potential. Since they’re hardy plants, they’ll do very well in hardiness zones 4-8.
The soil can be alkaline or neutral, not acidic.
It’s important to point out that Pasque flowers don’t like being transplanted – they can be transplanted, but they might not take to new soil and the plant could wither after transplanting.
It’s best not to disturb it once you plant it for the first time. This has to be taken into account if you’re planting a lot of plants. If you don’t like the way your garden looks once it’s finished, you should move other plants before moving Pasque flowers.
How To Plant Pasque Flowers – Step By Step
Planting Pasque flowers is very easy – here’s a simple step-by-step guide on planting Pasque flowers outdoors and in pots!
Step 1 – Sprinkle the Seeds
Pasque flowers don’t require digging – sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil. After that, simply cover them with a thin layer of soil – less than 1 inch.
That’s it! In the wild, Pasque flower seeds are blown off the plant by the wind, after which they land on the surface and grow from there. The plant has evolved to multiply like this, which is why they don’t need to be buried underneath the soil.
Even if you want to grow your Pasque flowers in pots, it’s still best to start them in open soil and transplant them later (see Step 3).
Step 2 – Water the Seeds
You need to water the seeds at least once a week, and up to three times a week (depending on the temperatures in your area). Remember that Pasque flowers like being in full sun, and they’re going to need it in this stage for the seeds to germinate.
Keep watering the plant regularly as it establishes itself. Adult plants don’t need that much watering, especially if it’s raining regularly, but young plants do.
Step 3 (Optional) – Transplant to a Pot
If you want to grow your Pasque flowers in pots, it’s still recommended that you grow them in the soil first. You shouldn’t transplant the flower to a pot until it’s become a young seedling.
Although we said that they don’t like being transplanted and that the plant can die because of it, the chances of this happening are significantly lower if you do it when the plant is still young and not fully established.
At this stage, their roots haven’t fully grown, so you won’t rip them off by moving the plant.
To transplant a Pasque flower seedling to a pot, simply dig it out with a trowel and put it in a prepared pot (ideally with the same soil found in your garden). Water immediately afterwards.
Keep in mind that Pasque flowers thrive out in the open, so growing them in indoor pots is a bit senseless if you have a flower garden.
How To Grow Pasque Flowers
Pasque flowers are very self-reliant plants, making them easy to grow. They only need watering if there isn’t enough rain, they don’t need fertilization, and they very rarely suffer from any illnesses or pests.
Overall, they’re a great choice if you like low-maintenance plants.
The amount of water Pasque flowers need depends on the amount of rain they get.
If you live in an area with average rainfall, you likely won’t need to water them at all. If your area is particularly dry, then you should water your Pasque flowers at least once a week.
Because they’re so used to hardy conditions out in the wild, these flowers need little water and they are prone to root rot – you shouldn’t overwater them.
Planting them in full sun is an absolute must for Pasque flowers. They’re sun-dependent plants and thrive in sunny conditions (although they can tolerate a little bit of shade).
You don’t need to fertilize Pasque flowers at all, but if you do, don’t fertilize them heavily. Remember – they’re used to harsh conditions. A balanced, low NPK fertilizer is good enough for these flowers.
Deadheading Pasque Flowers
Pasque flowers need deadheading only once a year. Each winter, remove the dead growth from last year. You’ll likely be able to just rip it off, but scissors may be necessary in some cases.
The great thing about this plant is that it requires very little care and it’s very self-sustainable. There are many plant species that require constant deadheading, and in comparison to them, Pasque flowers are very low maintenance.
Pasque flowers become dormant in the winter and they don’t need any protection. They’re used to snow, which acts as a natural protective layer in the winter.
This is why they’re one of the first flowers seen when the snow begins to melt, making them a messenger of spring.
Propagating Pasque Flowers
Pasque flowers are easy to propagate. All you have to do is collect the seeds and plant them. The flowers bloom in spring (bloom time usually from April to September), so it’s best to collect the seeds once the blooming period is over.
Simply take the seeds and plant them following the steps above. Know that these seeds are very easy to blow off the plant, so you have to be gentle when collecting them.
For a natural look, plant the seeds near the original plant.
In the wild, you can often see several Pasque flowers huddled together. The wind blows the seed off of the plant and they drop right next to the original plant, so planting them like this gives them a natural look.
Common Diseases And Pests
Pasque flowers are poisonous, which is why they rarely have any invasive pests. However, you may find aphids on them.
Aphids are tiny bugs that suck out the juices of a plant. They can breed very quickly and if you don’t eradicate them on time, they’ll spread to other plants as well.
The quickest way to kill them is to spray the plants with a vinegar-water solution (1:10 ratio).
Aside from aphids, Pasque flowers are very resilient.
The only disease they can suffer from is root rot. Since they’re hardy plants, adult Pasque flowers don’t need a lot of water. If the soil isn’t well-draining or if you overwater them, the roots will sit in soggy soil and they’ll rot.
To prevent this from happening, keep a watering schedule and adapt the amount of water to the current temperature and the amount of rain you’re getting!
Is The Pasque Flower Poisonous?
Yes, Pasque flowers are poisonous. Although rarely lethal, they can cause severe indigestion even in a small bite – every part of the plant is poisonous.
They’re classified as class 2 and class 4 of toxicity – this means that they can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested (something that usually happens to pets), or a skin reaction when the skin comes in contact with the juices of the plant (usually happens to people).
If you have a curious cat or a dog and they take a bite, they’re in for a rough surprise, but their life likely won’t be threatened. This is the plant’s natural defense system, and your pet will learn not to eat it again.
In extreme cases, the Pasque flower can be lethal. An adult human would need to eat about 30 fresh plants to ingest enough poison to die, but this is very unlikely.
4 Tips For Growing Pasque Flowers
Here’s a few drops of wisdom when it comes to growing Pasque flowers.
1. Leave a Little Bit of Room When Planting Pasque Flowers
If you don’t remove the seeds off the flowers, they’ll fall down to the ground around them, and some of them are bound to take and grow into a new Pasque flower.
This is why you should leave half a foot of empty room around them when you’re initially planting them. In a few years, that empty room will likely be filled by new Pasque flowers.
2. Seeds Can Survive the Winter
If you want to wait until February or March with planting, the seeds (whether you bought them or took them off your plants) can wait too. All you have to do to ensure their survival is keep them in a dry place.
3. Pasque Flowers Look Great in Rocky Terrain
Not saying this just because of the aesthetics, but also because of the quality of the flower. In their natural habitat, Pasque flowers are often found in rocky terrain, to which they’ve adapted very well.
If you want to, you can add a thin layer of grit around a newly established plant to see what it’d look like. This will also help with water retention and decrease the chances of root rot.
4. Combine Different Varieties
The biggest difference between Pasque flower varieties is the color. If you want a more colorful mix in your garden, plant different varieties of this plant near one another.
Most varieties have the same planting and growing requirements, so they won’t need any special care.
To Sum Up
Pasque flowers are very easy to plant and care for – all you need to do is cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and water them. They’ll grow quickly and their flowers will emerge early in the spring.
The two most important things to remember with this plant is to avoid overwatering it, as it can lead to root rot, and to avoid transplanting it unless absolutely necessary.