Widow’s tears

Family: Gesneriaceae
Botanical name: Achimenes

Origin: Central South America

Flower color: blue, peach, pink, red, orange, white, purple, yellow.

Flowering period: June-October

Average plant height: 12 inches

Planting depth to base of bulb: 1 inch

Spacing between bulbs: 6 in a 6-inch pot

Type of bulb: rhizome

Light requirements: 25-50% shade

Landscape uses: primary use in containers, or in borders.

Achimenes is an easy plant to grow. Nearly all the Achimenes offered are hybrids. These modern varieties produce masses of short trumpet-shaped flowers and shiny, velvety leaves.

Keep the plants reasonably warm and make sure the potting soil never dries out. Stop watering when flowering has finished. Achimenes stems are weak so it is an excellent choice for a hanging basket. This plant likes a spot with plenty of light, but direct sunlight should be avoided.

Principal varieties

  • ‘Blue Sparks’ – blue
  • ‘Harry Williams’ – red
  • ‘Prima Donna’ – pink
  • ‘Snow Princess’ – white