About Queen Anne's Lace
Daucus carota is the botanical name of Queen Anne’s lace, and it is indeed a wild carrot, evident in its ferny foliage. Its delightful, lacy, flat-topped flower clusters bloom in shades ranging from old rose-pink to rich burgundy and chocolate. This stunning annual plant can be used in both garden landscapes and floral arrangements, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.
When to Plant Queen Anne’s Lace
Directly sow the seeds outdoors from late winter to early spring in February to May, after all danger of frost has passed. You can also plant them in late summer to early fall from August to September.
Alternatively, start the seeds indoors under lights in late winter to mid-spring, six to eight weeks prior to the last expected spring frost. Be cautious when transplanting seedlings, as they prefer not to be disturbed. If transplanting is necessary, do it while the seedlings are still small with just a few leaves.
Where to Plant Queen Anne’s Lace
Choose a sunny location with well-drained, moist soil, free of weeds. Once established, Queen Anne’s lace is not fussy about soil and can grow in poor soil conditions such as vacant lots, curbsides, and parking lots!
Queen Anne’s lace should not be sown in areas where farmers produce carrot seeds, as it can crossbreed with cultivated carrots and compromise the crop.
How to Plant Queen Anne’s Lace
Sow the seeds shallowly, just barely covering them with soil or growing medium. Generally, germination takes 10 to 20 days. Thin seedlings to six inches apart when large enough to handle. Water regularly, especially during dry spells, until well-established.
How to Care for Queen Anne’s Lace
There’s no need to fertilize Queen Anne’s lace as this plant thrives in nutrient deficient soils. After the plant is established, water moderately as it prefers dry conditions.
Daucus carota attracts a variety of wildlife, serving as a host plant for Swallowtail caterpillars. The nectar-rich flowers benefit butterflies, adult bees, and other beneficial insects. Starlings are known to select Queen Anne’s lace as a nesting material because it contains a substance that eliminates fowl mites.
Harvest when flowers are fully open and laying flat to ensure they last in arrangements. Freshly cut flowers will stay vibrant for six to eight days in a vase.
While it has a place in the landscape as a source of food for pollinators and makes a long-lasting cut flower in a wildflower arrangement, Queen Anne’s lace is essentially a common weed and may be considered invasive in areas of the US. Check with your local agricultural office for information specific to your area. Queen Anne’s Lace propagates most effectively by seed. To control its spread, it is a good idea to snip off the flower heads before they go to seed.