Love-in-a-mist Nigella damascena

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care


Nigella damascena, commonly known as Love-in-a-Mist, is a charming flowering plant that boasts a unique and intricate appearance. The plant features delicate, finely divided, thread-like leaves that form a misty green backdrop for its blossoms. Its most striking feature is the flowers which come in shades of pale blue, violet, white, and occasionally pink. These blooms have a distinctive structure with five petal-like sepals, which surround a puff of fringed, filament-like structures. In the center of the flower lies a cluster of prominent stamens and a single pistil, adding to its ornamental appeal. After the flowering season, Love-in-a-Mist develops equally ornamental seed pods. These are balloon-shaped, ribbed, and typically green with a bluish or purplish tinge that eventually dry to a tan or brown color. Each pod contains several black seeds which can be used for planting or in culinary applications. The seed pods are often used in dried flower arrangements due to their interesting texture and shape. The overall aesthetic of Love-in-a-Mist is one of whimsy and delicacy, making it a favorite among gardeners and floral enthusiasts alike for its enchanting and otherworldly presence.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Love-In-A-Mist, Devil-In-The-Bush, Ragged Lady, Damask Nigella

    • Common names

      Nigella hispanica, Nigella nervosa, Nigella bracteata

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Love-in-a-mist is generally considered to have low toxicity to humans. However, consuming any part of the plant is not recommended as it may cause mild stomach upset or gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals. There are no serious symptoms of poisoning reported in humans from ingestion of Love-in-a-mist.

    • To pets

      Love-in-a-mist has no specific documented toxicity to pets such as cats and dogs. Nevertheless, ingestion of plant material by pets can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. Always monitor your pets around plants and, if any signs of illness occur, consult with your veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot 6 inches (45 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Love-in-a-mist, with its delicate, feathery foliage and striking blue flowers, adds beauty and a unique texture to gardens and landscapes.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and other beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: Love-in-a-mist is easy to care for, requiring minimal watering and fertilizing once established.
    • Drought Resistance: It is relatively tolerant of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping and dry gardens.
    • Self-Seeding: The plant readily self-seeds, ensuring a continual presence year after year with little effort.
    • Culinary Use: The seeds of Love-in-a-mist, known as Nigella seeds, can be used as a spice in cooking, adding a subtle onion-like flavor.
    • Craft and Decoration: Dried seed pods are often used in flower arrangements and crafts for their interesting shapes and textures.
    • Companion Planting: When planted alongside vegetables and other garden plants, it can provide a natural form of pest control by attracting predatory insects.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Nigella damascena seeds are sometimes used in spice blends for their unique flavor that adds a nutty and somewhat peppery taste to dishes.
    • The seed pods of Nigella damascena can be used in dried floral arrangements, as they retain their shape and have an interesting, ornamental look.
    • The oil extracted from Nigella damascena seeds can be used in perfumery, for its aromatic properties.
    • Due to its decorative flowers and seed pods, Love-in-a-mist can be used for ornamental purposes in garden design to provide contrast and interest.
    • The plant can be a beneficial companion plant in the garden, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
    • Pressed flowers of Love-in-a-mist can be used in art projects and handicrafts for decoration, due to their distinctive and intricately patterned structure.
    • Nigella damascena is used in photography and botanical illustration since it offers a wealth of interesting visual features to capture in art forms.
    • Seed pods of Love-in-a-mist can be used as natural rattles or fillers for homemade musical instruments due to their dry and seed-filled nature when mature.
    • The vibrant blue flowers of the plant can be used to create natural dyes for textiles and crafts.
    • The fine-cut foliage of Nigella damascena has been used by some as a green filler in fresh bouquets and floral displays for its airy, delicate appearance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Love-in-a-mist is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Love-in-a-mist is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Intrigue and Mystery: Nigella damascena, commonly known as Love-in-a-Mist, is often associated with an air of mystery due to its delicate, web-like foliage that partially conceals the blossom—much like a veil of secrecy.
    • Love and Admiration: The common name itself suggests a romantic aspect, evoking the image of love that is both protected and hidden, thus symbolizing deep feelings of admiration that might be held in secret.
    • Fertility: Historically, some cultures have connected Love-in-a-Mist with fertility due to its prolific seed production, making it a symbol for both fertility and continuity.
    • Genuine Bonds: Offering a bouquet of Nigella damascena expresses a message of genuine, unpretentious affection, as the flower's character is unassuming and devoid of grandeur.
    • Curiosity: The complex structure of the flowers and the enveloping bracts stimulate curiosity and a desire to see beyond the misty exterior, symbolizing the human instinct to discover what's hidden beneath the surface.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Love-in-a-mist should be watered regularly but with moderation, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. In general, providing about one inch of water per week is sufficient. During hotter, dryer periods, water as needed to prevent the soil from drying out completely, which might mean watering two to three times a week. Overwatering can cause root rot, so it is important to ensure proper drainage. When watering, aim to soak the soil directly rather than wetting the foliage to reduce the risk of leaf diseases.

  • sunLight

    Love-in-a-mist thrives in full sun, enjoying a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates where some afternoon shade can prevent scorching. The plant prefers a location that offers bright light to encourage healthy growth and abundant flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Love-in-a-mist is a hardy plant that handles a range of temperatures, with ideal growth occurring between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, but growth will be stunted or cease below this point. Love-in-a-mist is not heat-tolerant and may struggle in temperatures exceeding 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Love-in-a-mist benefits from occasional deadheading of spent flowers to encourage further blooming. Pruning is generally minimal and should be carried out after flowering. When seed pods form and ripen, they may be left on the plant for decorative purposes or harvested for seeds, which can also be a form of pruning.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    Love-in-a-mist thrives in well-drained soil mixed with compost and a bit of sand to improve drainage. The ideal soil pH range is between 6.0 to 7.5, ensuring it's slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    Love-in-a-mist does not generally require repotting and tolerates being root bound; thus, frequent repotting is unnecessary. It's often grown as an annual and reseeded annually.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Love-in-a-mist is not particularly humidity sensitive and will do well in average garden conditions without requiring specific humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Love-in-a-mist in a bright spot and water occasionally.

    • Outdoor

      Sow seeds after frost in a sunny spot, and water as needed.

    • Hardiness zone

      Love-in-a-mist is suitable for USDA zones 2-11.

  • circleLife cycle

    Nigella damascena, commonly known as Love-in-a-Mist, is an annual flowering plant that completes its life cycle within one growing season. The cycle begins with seed germination, which usually occurs in early spring when soil temperatures rise and there is consistent moisture. Following germination, the plant develops a basal rosette of ferny, thread-like leaves, and then erects a flowering stem. The distinctive flowers of Love-in-a-Mist, often blue to lavender, bloom from late spring to early summer, encased in a whorl of bracts that create a mist-like appearance. After pollination, typically by bees, the plant produces a fruit capsule containing several seeds. As the plant matures by late summer or early autumn, it dies back, and the seeds are dispersed naturally or collected for sowing the next season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Love-in-a-mist, or Nigella damascena, is commonly propagated through seeds. The most popular method is to directly sow the seeds into the garden after all danger of frost has passed in the spring. Sow the seeds by scattering them thinly on the surface of the soil in a sunny location and covering them with a light layer of soil, about one-eighth of an inch (approximately 3 millimeters) deep. Water gently and keep the soil moist until germination, which usually occurs within 10 to 14 days. Thin the seedlings to stand 8 to 10 inches (about 20 to 25 centimeters) apart once they are a few inches tall to allow sufficient room for growth. Love-in-a-mist will often self-seed in favorable conditions, providing an effortless propagation for the following season.