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Phacelia is a plant widely used as green manure in the vegetable garden, in the form of the pretty Phacelia tanacetifolia, called 'phacelia with tansy leaves'. It is also a honey plant, ornamental and fragrant, as pleasant as it is useful in the garden. The genus Phacelia, belonging to the botanical family Hydrophyllaceae, includes about 150 species of annual, biennial or perennial plants, all originating from the American continent. In our gardens, the most commonly cultivated is the annual Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) with mauve and fragrant summer flowering: it is an excellent way to attract bees and therefore increase fruit production. This plant with multiple benefits also attracts certain natural predators such as hoverflies, and its very dense root system loosens the soil while limiting the proliferation of adventive plants. Finally, its vegetation and roots contribute to enriching the soil with nitrogen as they decompose after burial. However, it is necessary to weed the soil before planting Phacelia, and it should always be planted in full sun. Phacelias are plants that are really undemanding when it comes to soil: they will grow even in the most barren, even dry soils, preparing the ground for more delicate plants.


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