Love in a puff is a delicate flowering vine that produces tiny white flowers followed by chartreuse green lanterns. When harvested, the lanterns contain round, black seeds stamped with a perfect white heart in the center. These magical vines grow exceedingly well when trellised and protected from the cold.
Like other hard shelled seeds, they can be a bit difficult to get to germinate. As a absolutely impatient gardener I have a few tricks up my sleeve to speed them up. I nick the seeds with a pair of nail scissors and then soak the seeds in a little dish of water for 24-48 hours prior to planting them (I do this when I start them indoors and also if I direct sow).
Here in Colorado the spring can be...variable. So I start my Love in a Puff seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost (3/5-3/21). Once the vines start elongating I insert a disposable wooden chopstick into the seedling pot next to the growing vine so it has something to attach to. After all danger of frost passes I harden off the seedlings over a period of several days before placing them in the ground.
A number of the seedlings get planted in to the greenhouse where they will almost hop, skip, and jump (or maybe zipline is a better metaphor) from hanging basket to hanging basket. They seem to love the heat and warmer nights the greenhouse provides. They have a days to maternity of 120 days so starting them indoors ensures an earlier harvest date. These vines are really fun to harvest with kids who are generally convinced some kind of fairy magic is involved in producing heart stamped seeds. Here at Petals we love to harvest the vines to weave in and out of late summer bouquets for some extra whimsy.
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