Virginia Bluebell Flowers, or Mertensia, is a hardy perennial flower plant. Native to the eastern U.S., it is a woodlands plant. The plant has clusters of blue-green leaves. You will need to have patience with this pretty bloomer. When planted from seeds, perennials Virginia Bluebell plants take up to three years to reward you with the first blooms. The flower clusters are in a bell or trumpet shape. We recommend growing Virginia Bluebell plants en masse. Also, the smaller varieties look great grown in groups in a rock garden setting.
Plant height: 8″ – 36″
Plant Blooms: late spring through early summer.
Flower Colors: Blue is by far the most popular. Also, there are light and dark pink shaded varieties.
Hardiness Zones: 2 – 8.
Other Names: Climbing Bells, Languid Ladies, Mertensia, Mountain Bluebell, Oysterleaf
Perennial, Mertensia Virginica
Virginia Bluebells are grown from seeds. Plant seeds outdoors in flats or a seedbed that can be left undisturbed. The seeds are very slow to germinate, requiring one to two months. Allow the young plants to grow for a year. In the second year, transplant them to their permanent home, where they will grow and thrive for many years. Virginia Bluebells are good re-seeders.
Established clumps can also be propagated by plant division. This is the most popular way of propagating the plants. In late summer to early fall, after the blooming period, dig up the clump, divide it into two to four smaller clumps and replant.
Days to Germination: – one to two months. They are very slow to germinate.
Virginia Bluebell plants grow well in full sun to partial shade. In hotter regions, grow it in partial shade.
The plants like soft, fertile soil.
During the growing season, keep the soil moist, not wet. As the blooming period arrives, you can cut back on the water. Then, stop applying water when the plants go dormant in the Fall.
It is important to mulch around the plants, to keep their roots cool, especially when grown in full sun, or hotter regions of the country.
After frost has arrived in the fall, the plants will die down completely. Once they have dried, you can cut them back to the ground, if desired, to keep a neat appearance in your flowerbed.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.6 – 7.5.
Final Plant Spacing: Space plants 24 to 36 inches apart, depending upon variety. The plants tolerate a little crowding.
Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.
Virginia Bluebells seldom have problems with insects or disease.