Here’s How to Grow Painted Tongue in your garden!
Salpiglossis sinuata, commonly known as Painted Tongue, is a beautiful old cottage garden plant that seemed to fall out of fashion, and then came roaring back recently. Last year, I saw the most gorgeous plants at a local garden center. The plants are typically about 24-36 inches tall, and covered in flowers that usually have veining in a contrasting color. If you deadhead them, you’ll get flowers from Spring through Summer.
If you want to start Salpiglossis from seed, know that they need consistent moisture (but don’t overdo it!) to germinate, but can take up to 30 days to sprout, so don’t lose heart and forget about them! Their seedlings also need strong light immediately after germination. Either start them outdoors after your last frost, or provide a strong light bulb 2 inches above the seedlings.
Once they’ve sprouted and have a few true leaves, pinching back young plants will help encourage bushier, fuller growth. Also, feed them a weak (1/2 to 1/4 strength) flower fertilizer twice a month to help them pump out more blooms for you.
Annies Annuals suggests pairing ‘Kew Blue’ Salpiglossis with a yellow trailer, like ‘Basket of Gold’ sweet alyssum. Sounds fab to me! I’ve seen pots planted with Salpiglossis in the back, and a tumbling tomato in front. That looks cool too.