About Melampodium: These hardy plants are closely related to native sunflowers, and come from tropical areas of the world. Its imposing name comes from the Greek words for “black” and “foot,” since parts of the lower stem and roots often appear black. Because of this, plants in this family also have the common name of “blackfoots.” Because of its excellence as a border and container plant, hybridized varieties of this plant are often produced commercially for gardens.
Melampodium Germination: After the last frost of spring, plant the seed just below the surface of the soil. Keep the soil moist until germination, which usually takes 1-2 weeks at temperatures from 65-70 degrees F. Space the seedlings out if necessary to give them room to develop.
Growing Melampodium Seeds: Keep young plants moist until they become established. Mature plants tolerate drought well, though they flourish with occasional watering. In addition to being very adaptable to either hot sun or partial shade, these plants make an excellent choice for containers or borders. Deadheading is not necessary for additional blooms, though it will prevent self-sowing at the end of the season. If left to itself, this plant will self-sow. These blooms attract bees and butterflies as well as resisting deer.
Harvesting Melampodium: For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.
Saving Melampodium Seeds: As soon as the petals of the flowers begin to drop off, begin watching for the circular seed cluster to turn brown. As soon as the seeds ripen to brown, remove the seed heads and spread them out to dry. Separate the seeds from the stems, and store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Melampodium Info: Origin: US Native Wildflower Other Common Names: Medallion Plant, Butter Daisy, Star Daisy Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Spring to Fall Height: 12-15 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 5,600 Produces a bushy plant with pointed green leaves and 1” yellow daisy-like flowers.