How to Grow Mignonette– Reseda

Fragrant Mignonette is planted in mass for best effect.

Mignonette is a sprawling annual usually grown for its spicy-sweet flower fragrance. Mignonette bears small greenish flowers often tinged with copper or yellow. The dense flower spikes become loose and open as they mature.

Mignonette—the botanical name is Reseda odorata—is a good choice for borders where it can be planted in a mass to get the full effect of the fragrance. Mignonette can also be spotted around the garden for fragrance.

Mignonette is best directly sown in the garden in spring. The plant does not transplant well. Mignonette grows best where summers are mild, not hot.

Mignonette flowers are borne on racemes

Get to Know Mignonette

  • Plant type: Annual
  • Growing zones and range: All zones; does not grow well in hot summer regions
  • Hardiness: Tender; killed by frost
  • Height and width: 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) tall and wide
  • Flowers: Small greenish flowers tinged with copper or yellow are borne in dense spikes that become loose and open when mature; each flower has six petals.
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Uses: Plant in masses for best effect, fragrance garden, suitable for pots
  • Common name: Mignonette
  • Botanical name: Reseda odorata
  • Family: Resedaceae

Where to Plant Mignonette

  • Grow mignonette in full sun in cool summer regions; grow in partial shade in hot climates.
  • Plant mignonette in humus-rich, well-drained soil; add aged compost to the planting bed ahead of planting.
  • Plant mignonette near walkways or patios where the fragrance can be enjoyed.
Reseda alba bears white flowers
Reseda alba is a mignonette cultivar that bears white flowers

When to Plant Mignonette

  • Mignonette is a tender annual; sow seeds outdoors in late spring after all danger of frost has passed.
  • In mild winter climates, sow seeds in late fall or winter.
  • Seeds can be started indoors a few weeks before the last frost; however, mignonette does not transplant well and is best seeded where it will grow to maturity.
  • Transplant mignonette into the garden after the last frost when the weather is settled and warm.

Planting and Spacing Mignonette

  • Sow mignonette seed in evenly prepared planting beds; barely cover the seeds with soil.
  • Start seeds indoors in six-packs or flats; use a sterile potting medium or seed starting mix.
  • Sow seeds 1/8 inch deep; keep the soil just moist until seeds germinate.

How to Water and Feed Mignonette

  • Mignonette prefers evenly moist soil
  • Fertilize mignonette with an all-purpose slow-release flower food at planting time; sprinkle a slow-release fertilizer around plants in midsummer.

Mignonette Care

  • Mulch around mignonette to conserve soil moisture.
  • Deadhead plants to encourage additional blooms.

Mignonette Varieties to Grow

  • Some cultivars have longer flower spikes and brighter colors, but they will be less fragrant than the species, Reseda odorata.

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