Bluebell Flowers

Bluebell flowers originate as wild flowers which make them very hardy and yet they have a simple beauty popular among gardeners.

The bright blue flowers will bring spring color to any garden along with providing nectar for wildlife in the bell shaped flowers.

This is a native wild flower and therefore requires very little care and is generally grown easiest from bulbs.

Bluebell Flowers for shade gardens and woodlands in spring

The Bluebell emerges in spring with purplish leaves which turn pale blue-green. Flowers start with pink buds that open to blue then fade to lilac.

This shade loving plant goes dormant after it blooms. Avoid the look of an empty garden after the flowers have finished blooming by planting evergreen companion plants such as ferns or small Hosta around them.

Bluebells lend themselves to naturalization of borders and rock gardens.

Shade Tolerance

Pale Blue Bluebell Flowers in shaded garden area near trees

Plant the bulbs in partial sunlight or dappled shade quite deeply.

They do not like direct bright sunlight and the heat of a midday sun and will probably wither them.

If you plant Bluebells under trees, they will provide a beautiful carpet of blue flowers being protected from sun by shade thrown by the leaves.

Location and Soil

Remember that Bluebells can spread over the years and need space in which to thrive.

Bluebells Lilac Flowers popping out of ground cover plants

If you plant them near other flowers, they may mix with them but this may take some years.

Bluebell bulbs grow best in fertile soils that are well drained. The soil must never be too acidic, and if it is, it must be treated with lime to reduce the acidity and make it more alkaline.

Break up the soil with a spade to loosen it, add compost to enrich it, and mix the compost into the soil thoroughly.

Mixed Colours of Bluebells, Blue, Pink, White, in a border of the garden

Planting - Propagation

Optimal times for planting are either in summer or in early fall.

This gives the young plants time to establish properly before the bitter cold of winter begins.

Make a hole in the ground that is around three inches in depth.

Put a bulb in the hole so the shoot is pointing upwards, then fill the hole and tap the soil into place.

Water the newly planted bulbs at once and continue to water them in dry weather once every three days until they begin to flower. At this point you can lessen the amount of water you give them.

You must not let the soil become water logged, the roots will begin to rot and the plants will die.

Do not spray water onto the leaves or flowers as Bluebells plants are prone to fungal infections.

The best time for watering Bluebells is in early morning so that any excess water will evaporate over the course of the day.

Transplanting is not advised, they simply don't like it.

Bluebells grow offsets and self-seed.

Keep soil fairly moist.

If you are looking for a carpet of blue flowers very quickly you need to plant a lot of bulbs to start the carpet of ground cover off, they don’t spread that rapidly but are wild and all wild flowers have an instinct for competition and survival.

Just make sure you give them an area so they can develop into a carpet of bluebells as you would see in wild woodland. Ideal for a shady part of your garden where there are trees.

Mulching Bluebells

Bluebell Care in Ground Cover

Bluebells benefit from mulch both in summer and in winter as this retains moisture in the soil and thus reduces the frequency with which you need to water.

Mulch also has an insulating effect, maintaining the temperature of the soil in an equable range, and of course it protects during winter. The best mulch that you can use for this purpose would be organic, usually of leaves to simulate their natural woodland setting.