Painted Tongue Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Painted Tongue
Painted Tongue is an annual that is a native of South America and related to petunias. The flower is trumpet-shaped and about 2 inches in width, and each flower is rich with velvety color and veins that are painted with a contrasting color. Salpiglossis Painted Tongue is perfect for the flower bed or in containers and baskets. The flowers are excellent for cutting and last in the vase nicely.
Start Painted Tongue flower seeds indoors in late winter, 8 - 10 weeks prior to the end of frost season.
Painted Tongue thrives in cooler climates. Full sun to partial shade is preferred in areas with cooler summers, but in hot climates, the flowers will slow down in the heat. Provide afternoon shade for Painted Tongue in hot climates. These annuals are great for beds, borders, and in containers as well. Average garden soil that is kept consistently moist is best.
How to Plant Painted Tongue
- Start Painted Tongue seeds in starter trays filled with moistened soil
- Press the seeds into the soil and cover the tray with a piece of cardboard as the seeds required darkness for germination
- Temperature needs to be 70 - 75 degrees, so heating mats may be needed to keep the trays warm enough
- Lift the cardbord daily and mist the surface and seeds well
- Once seedlings have emerged, place the tray under grow lights for best growing conditions (14 hours a day)
- If the seedlings become leggy, pinch them back to promote a bushier growth habit
- Once frost danger is over, harden off the seedlings 7 - 10 days prior to planting out
- Add some compost at the time of transplanting to improve the quality of the soil and add some nutrients
Care And Maintenance
- Painted Tongue does best with consistently moist soil
- Deadhead the spend flower to encourage more blooms
- Mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and keep roots cool
- Apply a water soluable fertilizer every 3 - 4 weeks during the growing season
- After transplanting and establishment, the plants can be snipped back by half to promote side-shoots, branching and bushier growth
- To keep fungal diseases in check, make sure there's adequate air circulation and cut out any diseased leaves and stems as soon as it appears, and clean up the debris