How to Grow Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate Flower

Plant this tall annual where it can drape its eye-catching blooms over a fence or gate.

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This old-fashioned cottage garden plant has been a favorite for decades for its impressive, abundant clusters of flowers that dangle from the tips of its tall stems. In recent years, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate has seen a resurgence in popularity, often being found in heirloom plant catalogs. Generally, you can plant it once, and it will reseed for years to come.

Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate Overview

Genus Name Persicaria orientalis
Common Name Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate
Plant Type Annual
Light Sun
Height 3 to 8 feet
Width null to 2 feet
Flower Color Pink, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Propagation Seed
Problem Solvers Good For Privacy

Colorful Combinations

With its long chains of pink blossoms, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate adds a romantic touch to any garden. Often beginning to bloom in midsummer, this annual will continue to bloom until fall. It's a favorite cut flower and can be dried and used in floral arrangements. You can find varieties in dark pink and occasionally white. While not the main reason for growing kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, its large, coarse-textured foliage can create a backdrop for other plants. This fast-growing plant can grow to 7 feet tall and can be used as a quick screen when grown densely in groups.

Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate Care Must-Knows

Because of its height, this plant is not usually available in 6 packs in garden centers. If you are interested in growing kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, it is best to start plants from seed. This is a fairly easy process but there is one thing to keep in mind: kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate requires stratification in order to germinate. Stratification simply means providing seeds with a cold period to simulate winter and help break their dormancy. There are a few ways this can be done. One of the easiest is to allow them to experience a natural winter by sowing seeds in the fall where you would like them to grow the following year. You can also give them a simulated winter by storing seeds in the refrigerator or freezer for a short period of time. After the seeds have gone through their chilling process and begun to germinate, it is best to thin them out because each plant will become quite tall and large.

Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate will achieve the most-impressive growth in fertile, well-drained soil. It can also tolerate poor soil as long as it is not too wet. The plant is best grown in full sun conditions to help plants remain sturdy and prevent them from flopping. This will also help to encourage more flowers and the densest foliage.

Even with its impressive height, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate does not require staking. It also does not require deadheading and will continue to bloom throughout the growing season without slowing down. Be sure to keep in mind that any flowers kept on plants will reseed in the garden and grace you with their presence for years to come.

Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate Companion Plants

Spider Flower

Cleome Spider Flower
Matthew Benson

It's amazing that the tall, dramatic spider flower is only an annual. Once temperatures warm up, it zooms to 4 feet or more very quickly and produces large balls of flowers with fascinating long seedpods that whirl out from it. Cut it for vases, but be aware that the flowers shatter easily after a few days. It typically self-seeds prolifically, so you only have to plant it once. Because it develops surprisingly large thorns, it's best to keep spider flower away from walkways. Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Cleome does best in moderately rich, well-drained soil. Be careful about fertilizing or you'll have extremely tall floppy plants. Group in clusters of 6 or more for best effect.


white moonflower blooms
Mike Jensen

Moonflower or datura is one of the most romantic plants you can grow in the garden. It's a statuesque, ideal evening-garden plant bearing large trumpet-shaped flowers that unfurl in the evening (or on overcast days) and stay open until the sun rises. Some are sweetly fragrant when open. This beautiful plant is also very heat- and drought-resistant. Beware: It's quite poisonous, especially the seeds. Moonflower can be found as an established plant in garden centers. Plant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Give it moderate moisture and fertilizer. You can also train it into a treelike plant along a stake, especially in a large container. Datura reseeds freely to the point of being invasive in some conditions.

Castor Bean

Tall Border Castor Bean
Eric Roth

Plant a castor bean and then stand back. This is one of the fastest-growing, giant annuals in the garden, rivaled only perhaps by giant sunflowers. By midsummer, you'll have a huge (it can hit up to 20 feet) tropical plant sporting burgundy foliage. It's a great plant to grow with kids. Be careful, though. The seeds are extremely toxic. Wait to plant it outdoors after all danger of frost has passed; castor bean hates cool weather and won't grow well until temperatures heat up in summer.

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