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How to Grow Bells of Ireland Plants

Annual, Moluccela Laevis

Bells of Ireland are distinctive and stately plants, grown for their tall, dark green spires, thickly covered by lighter green, bell-shaped calyces (leaves). This annual plant grows 2-3 feet tall. The leaves are so lush, they all but hide the small white or pink flowers. Flowers bloom once during the season, with a pleasant scent.

Surprise, surprise. Bells of Ireland are not native to Ireland. They are native to Syria, Turkey and the Caucuses. Bells of Ireland plants are a lucky symbols, perhaps linking their name to the luck of the Irish. They are also not related to the Molluca Islands, which their botanical name might otherwise  suggest.

The spikes of Bells of Ireland are used fresh or in dried arrangements. They are widely used for St. Patrick's Day arrangements. As a lucky symbol, they are also popular in wedding bouquets and arrangements.

Caution: The stalks have small thorns.

Try these attractive plants in a container on your balcony or deck. They just might bring you luck!

 Other Names: Shellflowers, Moducella Balm

Plant Height: 2' - 3'

Plant Propagation:

Bells of Ireland are grown from seed. They are cool weather plants.

Bells of Ireland do not transplant well.

Sow seeds outdoors after the last frost date in your area, and barely cover with soil. Keep seeds moist.

Seeds will take 25-35 days to germinate.

Important: Seeds need light to sprout.

Plants are good re-seeders.

How to Grow Bells of Ireland Plants:

Bells of Ireland plants grow best in cool weather. Grow them in full to partial sun.

Place these tall plants in the back of the flower garden, or in a container for your patio or deck. They do best in rich, loam soils, but will grow in average soils with regular applications of fertilizer..

Space plants about 12 inches apart.

Keep soil evenly moist. Water frequently in dry weather.

Add a high nitrogen fertilizer once a month, to promote lush, healthy growth.

 Protect plants from high winds. Stake spikes as needed.

Drying Plants - For dried arrangements, harvest plants in mid to late summer, when flowers are at their peak. Hang stalks  upside down to warm, dry, well ventilated area.

Flowers Bloom: Spring thru Fall

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