Forget Me Nots flowers are generally biennials, but there are some varieties that can be perennial.
The varieties that are biennial will generally be easy to maintain over the years as they tend to self-sow, so propagation is not a problem once you establish them in your garden.
These are highly recommended and extremely popular shade flowers, and with good reason.
Among the most popular varieties there is velvet forget-me-not and hairy forget-me-not plants.
There are a great many varieties of Forget Me Nots, and you can find a lot of differently colored flowers.
Some of the popular colors are white, blue or pink, and the centre can be yellow or white, depending on the species.
The plants themselves are very attractive to look at, forming low mounds that can be between six to ten inches tall - of course this varies from species to species. The flowers shoot up above the mounds like little stars.
Remember that Forget Me Nots are woodland plants and so need the general characteristics of woodland if they are to thrive.
Provide them with rich soil to simulate the rich soil of a forest floor that is continually enriched with falling leaves.
I've found that leaf compost really works best for this purpose, but other forms will do as well, just so long as they're rich in the organic matter these plants favor.
Make sure the soil is moist, but not wet and soggy - remember that these plants are native to forests, not marshes. Mulch is highly beneficial, and indeed absolutely necessary. The best time to apply mulch is in Spring and Fall or Autumn.
Rich organic mulch will protect the roots, hold in moisture, and keep the plant cool.
Forget-me-not is best grown from seed, and the seeds are best planted in the fall - if you plant them at this time, the plants will brighten your garden with their blossoms with the coming of the next Spring.
Generally you should sow the seeds from six to twelve inches apart.
One nice idea is to surround the bulbs in your garden with these seeds - the combination of flowers will be very interesting and attractive - the best flowers to combine these with are daffodils and tulips.
Remember that Forget Me Nots are used to the cool of a forest floor, and that they can die in a hot Summer.
However, you shouldn't worry if this happens - remember that this is a self sowing species, and will set it's seeds before the plants die out - they will actually return the same Fall, when temperatures fall to more bearable levels.
Of course if you are an inexperienced gardener, you might try planting these interesting plants as seedlings, which is by far the most reliable method.
Obtain the young Forget- Me -Nots, or buy online and have them shipped to you, and then plant them the recommended distance of between six and twelve inches apart.
As they self-sow, you should have no problems once the plants establish themselves.
The more experienced gardener, on the other hand, may actually choose to prevent these plants from re-seeding, instead growing them year after year.
It is easy to treat some leaf diseases - all you have to do is cut the leaves a bit. I usually cut them just about two inches back.
This isn't a problem and will not damage the look of the plant - indeed, the leaves grow back very soon, but it is an effective way of dealing with leaf diseases.
Forget Me Nots are biennials for the most part, although there are some that are perennials. Biennials re-seed themselves readily so you will always have these wonderful flowers for shade in your garden.
There blooms are white, pink or blue with either white or yellow centers. The flowers rise above the low mounding foliage 6 to 10 inches tall depending on which species you sow.
These shade lovers thrive in rich well drained soil. Mulch with good compost with organic material, once in Spring and again in the Fall.
Sow your seeds in Fall so that they will bloom for you in the Spring. Plant them about 6 to 12 inches apart. A great idea is to sow your seeds all around your bulbs for Spring, tulips and daffodils especially. They compliment each other nicely. If the Summer is particularly hot they may die back, after setting seed for the fall, when they will return.
There are some diseases of the leaves which can be taken care of by cutting them back to about 2 inches and they will be back in no time at all.
Water Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis scorpioides) are the most common and are easily divided as their stems root as they creep along. Often they will re-bloom later in the year.