VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS

FAMILY: Boraginaceae | GENUS: MERTENSIA virginica

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8

Plant Details

Like a larger version of forget- me-not (Myosotis), these charming plants are native to woodlands in the eastern U.S. Plants emerge and flower early, then go dormant soon after ripening seeds, usually before midsummer. Bluish green, broadly oval leaves form loose clumps to 112 feet wide; from these clumps rise leafy, 112- to 2 feet-high stems bearing open clusters of nodding, 1 inches flowers. Buds usually range from pink to lavender, but they open to blue bells, sometimes with a pinkish cast. Virginia bluebells are good companions with naturalized daffodils (Narcissus) or with ferns, trillium, and bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos) in woodland gardens.

Provide moist soil rich in organic matter. Use summer annuals to fill void after plants die back. Clumps can be left in place indefinitely; they will slowly spread. To get more plants, use volunteer seedlings or dig and divide clumps in early autumn.

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