One of my favorite early flowering plants is the Virginia bluebell. I have a few that were beautiful this spring, as always, but I would love to have more. How can I get these to multiply?
In shady woodlands and gardens with moist, rich soil, Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica) grows as loose clumps of blue-green leaves that give rise to leafy stems bearing clusters of small, bell-shaped blue flowers. They flower early in the spring, go to seed, and die back by midsummer. Given time, they will spread, but you can help them along by digging and dividing the clumps. Garden experts in the Southern Living Garden Book suggest doing this in early autumn. Mark their location now so you can locate them when it’s time to divide.
There’s another early-spring plant that some call bluebells – Hyacinthoides is the botanical name – that grow from bulbs. You may also know them as wood hyacinths or Spanish bluebells. They produce clumps of strappy leaves and blue, bell-shaped flowers along tall, sturdy stems. H. hispanica is described as “prolific and vigorous,” which means that they can quickly naturalize into places where
you may not want them, but they grow and bloom reliably in dappled shade, they are not usually browsed by deer or rabbits, and the cut flowers are a nice addition to early-spring bouquets.
June: The month for daylilies in Middle Tennessee. Check out this month’s events, tasks and tips in the Garden Calendar in today’s Tennessean and at Tennessean.com.