About Dame's Rocket: This European native arrived on the shores of America in the 17th century, and rapidly escaped from gardens to become a naturalized wildflower. The genus name Hesperis comes from the Greek word for “evening,” since the lovely scent of the flowers becomes especially strong at dusk. The common name “rocket” refers to this plant’s fast growth, which causes it to be classified as an invasive species in several states.
Dame's Rocket Germination: Direct sow in early spring, pressing the seed into the surface of the soil; keep it moist until germination. To start indoors, sow the seed on the surface of the soil in a flat; keep the soil moist and at a temperature of 70-75 degrees F until germination, which usually occurs within 21-30 days. Transplant the seedlings after the last chance of frost. This plant will adapt to almost any soil with adequate moisture.
Growing Dame's Rocket Seeds: Though this plant tolerates some drought, it will flourish with regular moisture. In its first year of growth, it will produce mostly leaves; full bloom usually occurs in its second year. It does not appreciate excess heat and humidity, and grows best in northern regions. This plant self-seeds heavily, and can become very aggressive. To help prevent this, remove the spent flower heads before the seed pods develop; this will also encourage a second blooming. These flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, while resisting deer. We cannot sell this seed to customers in CT, NH, or WI.
Harvesting Dame's Rocket: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.
Saving Dame's Rocket Seeds: As the flower cluster comes to the end of its blooming, the plant will produce very long, thin green pods that eventually split in half to release mature brown seeds. Remove the pods when as soon as the seed has ripened but before they split, and spread them out to dry away from direct sunlight. Crush or shake them lightly to release the seeds. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Dame's Rocket Info: Origin: Eurasia Other Common Names: Garden Rocket, Dame's Violet, Mother-Of-The-Evening, Sweet Rocket, Night-Scented Gilliflower, Summer Lilac Duration: Biennial Bloom Time: Spring- Summer Height: 36-48 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 4a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 15,000 Produces a plant with 4-5” rough, lance-shaped leaves and elongated clusters of four-petaled, ¾” fragrant flowers in varied shades of white, lavender, or pink.