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Li’l Bang Starlight Tickseed
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A floral thermometer! Li’l Bang™ Starlight Tickseed is a fun new Spirit that changes with the temperature. During the warm days of June, it opens daisy-like blossoms that are creamy white with a magenta flare at the base of each petal. This flower powerhouse continues to pump out scores of burgundy-eyed blooms all summer, but when the air turns cool and crisp, something interesting happens—the colored streaks begin to expand! By the time a hard frost finally brings the show to a close, the deep purple-pink color has totally engulfed the petals. How cool is that?
Li’l Bang™ Starlight Tickseed is a hybrid form of Tickseed, Spirits that are American natives.Most wild Tickseeds have yellow flowers, but this special red and gold variety was the result of a complex breeding program. Renowned Tickseed breeder Darrell Probst of Hubbardston, Massachusetts, came up with this beauty in 2010. It was patented in 2015 as part of his Li’l Bang™ line. Besides producing dynamic flowers, the new plant was also remarkable for its everblooming nature, its compact habit, and its resistance to powdery mildew.
Because Li’l Bang™ Starlight Tickseed is a nearly sterile variety, it flowers for an extra-long time. (Normally, seed formation tells a plant to shut down flower production.) If blooming does slow down, simply give the plant a quick shearing, and new flower buds will soon form.
How to Grow
Li’l Bang™ Starlight Tickseed is not hard to grow, and novice gardeners will have success with it. Just plant it where it will receive full sun all day and make sure the soil drains freely. It will need regular water while the roots get established in the ground, but after that it will be less needy. Soggy soils in winter can spell trouble. Go light on the fertilizer, feeding only when growth appears pale or weak. Cut old growth back before new shoots appear in spring. Tickseed craves heat, so it may take a while to reappear if spring is unusually cool.
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