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How to Grow and Care for Campion Plants

Lychnis species

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringRed flowering plantPink flowering plantPurple flowering plantLychnis arkwrightiiHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper
The botanical name, Lychnis, is from the Greek word for lamp, referring to the flame colored flowers of some species
and the fact that the felt-like leaves were once used for lamp wicks.
Horace the Garden Gnome Rose Campion plants, (Lychnis coronaria) are easy to grow, clump forming perennials
with felt-like, silvery gray leaves and stems, growing up to 3 ft. tall with a spread of 18".
For about eight weeks in late spring and early summer they produce a profusion
of brightly colored rose-pink or scarlet 1"-1¼" flowers.
Rose Campion plants are hardy in USDA zones 4-10.
Arkwright's Campion, (Lychnis x arkwrightii) grows to about 20" tall with a one foot spread.
They have purplish-bronze foliage that contrasts beautifully with the
abundant, brilliant reddish-orange, 1½" flowers in early to mid-summer.
Arkwright's Campion is hardy in USDA zones 6-8.

Growing Requirements for Campion Plants

Campions grow best when planted in an area that receives full sun to partial shade.
In regions with hot summers, they will require shade in the afternoon.

Plant your Campions 15"-18" apart in any average, very well-drained soil.
They will not tolerate wet feet in the winter!
Campion plants are fairly drought tolerant, but they perform best with regular watering during the growing season,
especially if they are grown in full sun.
Campions prefer cool feet, so add a good covering of mulch around the base in hot summer areas.
Cut the flowering stems all the way back to the basal growth immediately after blooming
and your plant may flower again in the fall.

Propagating Campion Plants and Growing them from Seed

Because Campion plants are relatively short lived, they should be dug and divided every 2-3 years in the spring, to keep them growing vigorously and to provide you with additional plants.

Campion plants self-sow readily. Thin and transplant seedlings in the spring.
Campion seeds require light for germination so do not cover them!
Sow Campion seeds directly in the garden a few weeks before the
last expected frost
in the spring, or in late fall.
If starting your seeds indoors, the seeds will need to be chilled in the refrigerator for three weeks before planting. Maintain a temperature of 70° in the growing medium until germination, which takes 20-25 days.

A Pink Rose Campion Flower, Lychnis coronaria
Rose Campion
Lychnis coronaria
Red Arkwright's Campion Flowers, Lychnis arkwrightii
Arkwright's Campion
Lychnis x arkwrightii