Spanish bluebells are native to cool, shady, damp, well-drained woodlands. Besides its raw beauty, many gardeners value it for the fact that it's a late-blooming spring bulb. The flowers are fragrant and make a wonderful addition to any cut bouquet. Learn more in this article. These plants may naturalize. It looks like there are still a few trees left, though: whatever was not in the way of the building and a massive paved parking area. Here are some things to consider before mowing bulbs in the lawn. Virginia bluebells grow best in part shade and moist soil. If you live in a drier region, make sure the soil does not completely dry out in spring. Choose a spot that will have at least some sun in spring, at the time the plant emerges from the earth. Outdoor Beds Find a location where the soil drains well. They grow to 25-30cm and are planted in autumn for spring flowering. Virginia bluebells will re-seed throughout the garden, and you can grow them from seed at home, but it can be a difficult process. They bloom later than bulb plants such as snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), but many gardeners find this tardiness a benefit, not a drawback. Natural leaf mulch will enrich the soil and create the right environment … They favor locations with ample summer shade. But older names persist, including Scilla hispanica; they were also formerly placed in the Endymion genus. You’ll get the best results from planting bluebells in the green but it’s also possible to grow bluebells from seed. Pruning and caring for bluebells Once leaves have turned yellow, cut them at their base. If you leave them a bit longer the leaves will have time to fatten up the bulbs for next year. You may be wondering why we place the very pretty spring flowering Bluebells in the ‘Weed category’. The package that you buy at the store may well be labeled Scilla campanulata, which is yet another botanical name for the plant. Do your best not to disturb established plants. The main drawback is that you have to delay mowing the lawn in spring, and the grass may begin to look a bit ragged before it’s safe to mow. That is where you typically find it in the wild, and it is always best to take a cue from nature as to how best to cultivate a plant. The flowers are fragrant and make a wonderful addition to any cut bouquet. Blue Giant may be the cultivar that comes closest to being true blue. We look at how to control Bluebells using a combination of weed killer, smothering and digging. 7 to 16 inches tall (including the floral stalk), with a spread slightly less than that, Well-drained soil of average fertility and kept evenly moist, shades of blue and lavender; white or pink types are also available, How to Grow and Care for Allium (Ornamental Onion), 18 Yellow-Flowering Plants for Your Garden, 14 Best Landscape Plants With Purple Flowers. The distinctive blue-pink flowers of Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) appear soon after the snow melts. Type Flowering blub Lifespan Perennial Growing Zones 5-7 Light Shade lover … Many have problems with planting under trees. The flowers are all on the same side of the stalk and when gravity kicks in the stalk bends in a dainty curve. Bluebells guide: when do they flower, how to identify and best bluebell walks in the UK. Don’t cut them any earlier, since the plant needs to drain its leaves from all their nutrients to prepare for the following blooming cycle. Once you’ve given these spring blooms a happy home, they can take care of themselves. Plants spread by both rhizomes and self-seeding. Common bluebell's blooms line up on one side of the floral stalk. Growing English Bluebells: Tips at a Glance. Bluebells also thrive when planted in grass, provided those areas are not mown until the leaves have fully died back each year. This will help to increase drainage, a key factor for successful growth. Many are summer flowering so will follow on after the bluebells - but their emerging foliage will help to hide the scruffy bluebell leaves (which need to be left on after flowering ). Now, do you know why my bluebells come up every year a manky sort of pink? 22 Tukorako Drive (off Hull Road), Mount Maunganui, Tauranga. Virginia Bluebells are self-sufficient. Sweetly fragrant English bluebells love a deciduous forest but can be happy in a shady backyard. if they’re growing in grass, avoid mowing until after the leaves have fully dies down. The flowers are bell-shaped and about 3/4 inch long. Bluebells – Spanish and English Bluebells. Bluebells should normally propagate themselves naturally as years go by. It can be hard to find perennials that will simply survive in those conditions, let alone thrive. This plant also works well as garden edging. on 1st February 2020 Bluebells flower from late April to May, filling our woods with their incredible flowers and fragrance and providing nectar for moths, bees and butterflies. Virginia bluebells self-seed. Grow Virginia bluebells alongside tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other petite spring bulbs. But older names persist, including Scilla hispanica; they were also formerly placed in the Endymion genus. Bluebells will flower in May and grow to a height of about 30 cm. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. I never did get more than the few bluebells and a peony. Some gardeners grow theirs in a little patch of lawn where they are encouraging spring-flowering bulbs to naturalize. Sadly, sometimes botanists have trouble figuring out what botanical name they wish to give a plant. Hyacinthoides hispanica is a tough plant, and, because its leaves emerge before the deciduous trees come into leaf, its foliage has ample time to send nutrients down to the bulb before the area becomes too shaded. Bluebells as weeds. The bluebells in question in Canada and Britain are of three types: the English bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), the Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica), and hybrids between the two species. The common name is a misnomer, perhaps influenced by the similarity to common bluebell, which has a better claim on having "blue" flowers. The same Act does not list bluebell amongst the plants receiving the highest level of protection but does makes it illegal to sell or offer bluebells for sale." They grow to 25-30cm and are planted in autumn for spring flowering. Bluebells grow best in cool, partially shaded spots so they’re not suited to a position in full sun. Keep them away from invasive cousin Spanish bluebells. It's important to maintain some moisture and to avoid direct sun in hotter areas. When the perennials come into bloom, the bluebells will disappear until next year. By contrast, Hyacinthoides hispanica pushes up a straight flower stalk. Yes, they make beautiful cut flowers on their own or as part of an arrangement. This spring-flowering bulb also comes in white, deep-lavender, and pink cultivars; for example: The plant known as "common bluebell" (Hyacinthoides non-scripta, also called "English bluebell") bears flowers and leaves that look like those on the Spanish bluebell plant. It is a positive if you would like the plants to settle into an area of your landscape and spread. When provided with adequate moisture and shady conditions, Virginia bluebells grow and reproduce with few problems. in lightly shaded rock gardens, under trees or amongst garden borders. Give it partial shade in warmer climates to avoid scorching. The white bulbs throw off little bulbils and they will grow back unless you clean up the soil to at least 12 “. By growing Spanish bluebell, you can achieve a longer sequence of bloom from your bulb-plant collection. If you plant bluebells, you should make sure it's the English bluebell, not the Spanish version. Bluebells' soft, herbaceous foliage is a great texture complement to the rigid and straplike foliage of many bulbs. The package that you buy at the store may well be labeled Scilla campanulata -- yet another botanical name for the plant. Propagation is possible but challenging. The result is that older literature is littered with the rejected names, as the new name struggles to gain a toehold. Early spring bulbs look fantastic naturalized in grassy areas, but as pretty as they are, this planting method isn’t for everyone. Any peonies, raspberries, Virginia bluebells, trilliums, etc., IâÂÂm sure have been bulldozed under for a monoculture of grass. Plant the bulbs with the pointed end facing upwards, about 10cm deep and about 15cm apart. The Best Time to Plant Bluebells. This is … Replied May 13, 2015, 10:43 AM EDT Both are wonderful bulbs that make the perfect transition between early bulb flowers and perennial flowers in your garden. One big debate is the problem with foreign Bluebells which are being planted in amongst British ones and diluting the effect. The scientific names of plants are supposed to make our lives easier as gardeners, giving precision where there would otherwise be cha… Bluebells are the perfect choice for growing With care, gardeners produce robust stands of Virginia Bluebells in hard-to-mow areas, such as around the base of shade trees. Planting bluebells. The typical Spanish bluebell color is really a lavender color, with blue highlights. As long as they are green, they are taking in nutrients via photosynthesis. Bluebells have brilliant blue blossoms that add a dash of colour to the landscape. Bluebells can become invasive in the garden and become too much of a good thing. They will do best in fertile, well-drained soils. Once established they will grow back each year and if they like the conditions will spread over time. Scottish Bluebell. They seed down and naturalize easily and look beautiful in informal drifts among tall shrubs, under deciduous trees and among perennials. Moreover, its flowers emerge from multiple sides of the stalk. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Meanwhile, Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica) is an entirely different plant, the similarity in common names notwithstanding. bloom a bit later. You can take the dead flower heads off though if you like. Bluebells may take a couple of years to flower - you may only get leaves in the first year, but their display is a long term project which will only get better. Spanish bluebell stalks are straight and do not display the curve as seen in English bluebells. Spanish bluebells are similar in many ways to English bluebells apart from the fact that they bloom in more open areas. The botanical names of plants are supposed to make our lives easier as gardeners. Botanists now want us to call Spanish bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica. They bloom season after season, gradually multiplying in number. In the garden Bluebells prefer a rich well-drained soil. However, this attribute is deemed negative in the United Kingdom, where those interested in native plants have observed that Spanish bluebell is an invasive plant and is crossing with Hyacinthoides non-scripta, creating a hybrid that dilutes the native stock. But there are easy ways to tell the two apart: The floral stalk of the common bluebell bends down when the plant is in bloom, thus displaying the flowers under a natural arch. You will enjoy regular 'Grab a Plant' Specials, special bonus codes, gardening advice and more. Foot-tall spikes of delicately colored bluebells add a bright spot to the spring garden. They’re particularly suited to growing beneath deciduous trees, which provide dappled shade in spring and deeper shade in summer. The easiest bluebells to establish are the bulbs you plant in … The concerns about the plants are worth considering, even as the flowers are admired. Virginia Bluebells Growing Conditions Plant Virginia Bluebells in moist, rich loamy soil with partial sun for the best growing results. Although the native English bluebell and the larger Spanish bluebell are often grown in gardens, they can multiply and become a nuisance, requiring control. From one, the flowers were picked without the white end of stalk, in another the white end was pulled out, a … While both of the others have blade-shaped leaves, the Virginia type has oval leaves. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. So there are my tips for growing Bluebell flowers. Their native habitat is moist woodland … Spanish bluebell flowers can be cut and brought indoors without injuring the plant. When to Cut Back and Prune Spanish Bluebells. Allow the leaves to die back on their own. Spanish bluebell is best grown in full sun in cooler climates. English bluebells are native to France and England and have been gracing gardens and wooded areas since the early 1500’s. This adaptability, however, is a double-edged sword. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3 inches to improve the drainage. Native to the eastern U.S., this beautiful woodland ephemeral is a most welcome harbinger of spring. Peat moss, compost, ground bark … Propagating Virginia Bluebells . A third identifying trait for those who like to use their noses is that common bluebell's flowers are more fragrant. The best time to cut the flowers is when half the bells are open. This variety of bluebells is also known as ‘harebells’, a name that has its roots well … Richard J. One weed problem that takes time to solve is removing Bluebells from the garden. Each plant produces up to 100 tiny blue-violet bell-shaped flowers that emit a honey-sweet fragrance. There are two main types: English bluebells are native to France and England and have been gracing gardens and wooded areas since the early 1500’s. It is in the asparagus family, as are lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) and Adam's needle (Yucca filamentosa). To most of us, however, a gorgeous spread of bluebells is an irresistible sight in spring. Cart: 0 items $0 | Customer Login | Register. The colorful spring blossoms of Spanish bluebell plants (Hyacinthoides hispanica) make them a favorite for home gardens. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Fortunately for all fans of this charming plant, bluebells are highly tolerant and can thrive in part shade to dappled sunlight. Botanists now want us to call Spanish bluebells Hyacinthoides hispanica. Allow the newly cut sections to dry out for a few days before replanting. Due to its preference for well-drained soil, it is helpful to grow the plant in somewhat sandy soil. Four bluebell patches were marked out. One of the most welcoming signs of spring, make the most of the bluebell season this with our bluebells guide – learn when bluebells flower, how to tell the difference between English and Spanish bluebells and the best places to see. If you live in a region where springs are rainy, you should not have to provide artificial irrigation. While you can divide the plants, Virginia bluebells grow best when left alone. "Bluebells are protected through general provisions in the Wildlife and Countryside 1981 which make it illegal to intentionally uproot a wild plant. Bluebells seeds require stratification, or a period of cold, somewhat moist weather in order to germinate. This sunlight requirement is not usually challenging to meet since Spanish bluebell's foliage comes out before that of the deciduous trees. Plant Spanish bluebell in fall to get blooms the following spring. The plant has average water needs. Can Bluebells be used as cut flowers? You can propagate by seed or by divisions. They are, however, quite hardy and able to adapt to a number of different settings. Expect them to pop up between clumps of spring bulbs, creating a casual cottage garden style over time. Spanish bluebells can also hybridise with the native form so are best controlled in gardens close to woodlands where the English bluebell is growing. Amend the soil with organic material such as peat moss, bark, manure, or compost at planting time and periodically thereafter. The longer you can stand leaving the leaves in place, the better your bluebell flowers will be next year. The bulbs go deep down into good soil and if you want to remove them they must be dug out totally. Hyacinthoides non-scripta (formerly Endymion non-scriptus or Scilla non-scripta) is a bulbous perennial plant, found in Atlantic areas from north-western Spain to the British Isles, and also frequently used as a garden plant.It is known in English as the common bluebell or simply bluebell, a name which is used in Scotland to refer to the harebell, Campanula rotundifolia. Growing Virginia bluebells in their native range is a great way to add pretty spring and early summer color. To show our appreciation, it’s the most tempting thing in the world to step into the blue for a photo opportunity, however, your feet … Bluebells are best planted in shady areas – around trees or underneath shrubs – … Divide the plants in late summer to early fall if you wish to multiply your collection or inject new life into a colony that is petering out due to overcrowding. If you want to grow plants from seeds, sow six … The sturdy flower stems are 30-40cm tall and look great in a vase. Hyacinthoides non-scripta is the common blue-flowered bluebell, but a few other varieties are also available; Alba has white flowers and Rosea has pink ones.. Virginia Bluebells thrive in damp, well-drained soil. The sword-like foliage is shiny and arches out of the ground in a tuft-like shape. It would be best to wait until the Virginia bluebells begin to die back (approximately mid-June) before mowing the plants. Spanish bluebell is a late-blooming spring bulb. How you can play a part in looking after bluebells. The bulbs are great for containers and are excellent for cutting. Dig up and carefully cut the rhizomes apart. These gorgeous wildflowers thrive in partially shady woodlands and can be used to naturalize gardens, in beds, wooded areas, and borders. There are currently no items in your shopping cart. 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