Thursday, April 3, 2014
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) grow in zones 3-9 and are native to the United States. They grow about 12-20 inches tall and will spread by self-sowing. The flowers start out in a pink color then slowly change to a beautiful blue. I have mine planted in the woodland garden where they are mixed in with ferns, Celandine Poppy, Hosta and daffodils.
They prefer a humus-rich soil that is well drained and is neutral to slightly acidic. Virginia Bluebells are "ephemerals" and will go dormant after spring blooming. When the bluebells are done blooming, the foliage will slowly turn yellow, drop and fan out on the ground. You do not need to clean up the leaves because the leaves will disappear quickly after they die back.
If you want to propagate your bluebells, you can let the plant drop it's seed in the garden or you can take divisions of the plant. When replanting divisions, cover the eyes with 2-3 inches of soil. Virginia Bluebells will slowly form a colony in your garden that will come back year after year.