How To Grow Virginia Bluebells

The Virginia Bluebells, a spring ephemeral, is one of the most delightful flowers in the early Spring gardens from the family boraginaceae.

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This genus of low-growing herbaceous perennial plants that’s hardy, content with average soil in semi-shade or full sun, the Virginia bluebells requires no special skill to cultivate and is not bothered with insects.

This lovely perennial species of the borage family has large smooth light green leaves and clusters of blue, trumpet-shaped blue flowers. Virginia bluebell flowers bloom from early spring to early summer.

If you want early spring clusters of blue or blue-violet color in your garden, check out the full article at the link below…

Too few gardeners know or grow the species Mertensia virginica, also known as Virginia Bluebells. Yet, this plant is an early, low-growing perennial that’s hardy, content with average soil in semi-shade or full sun, requires no special skill to cultivate and is not bothered with insects.

Mertensia virginica has a purple tube and blue bells and there’s a variety (rubra) that is pink. A combination of these two against the dense, deep greens of foundation plantings is a sight that’s delicate and rare.

Used for edging driveways, walks and perennial beds, Virginia blue bells are lovely. But loveliest of all are these flowers planted against ferns or when grown in great, rich masses. For arrangements, my favorite combination is bluebells, blue and pink, with daffodils.

Virginia Bluebells – Early Spring Clusters of Blue

Virginia Bluebells mertensia virginica is one of the most delightful flowers in my garden in early Spring. This lovely perennial of the borage family has large smooth light green leaves and clusters of blue, bell-shaped flowers.

The buds of this plant look deep blue at first. Then, it turn into almost purple, then pink, after which the softest cerulean bluebells open. As they fade they are again a lovely pink. Some of mine were actually pink when at their prime. I thought, perhaps, it was something in the soil, but I have since discovered is was the pink variety, rubra.

Mertensia is one of the native plants wildflowers in Missouri. No doubt there are hundreds of places where these plants grow wild, but we have only found two. Both of these wonderful colonies were growing at the feet of steep bluffs some miles apart.

One was near Fern’s Bluff, a few miles from Calhoun, the other back of a country church, southeast of Windsor. Both plantings grew among wild ferns in very light shade near a creek. In the wild these plants grew much taller and broader than the two-foot-high specimens in my garden.

Mertensia Virginica Virginia Bluebells foliage dies down completely soon after flowering, so it is well to grow a cover plant. Nature does this with ferns, but ferns will not endure my garden conditions as the bluebells do, so I use low Hostas nearby, or shallow-rooted annuals.

M. virginica prefers a medium moist, partly shaded location, with a soil well supplied with humus. Those in moist, rich woodland, along streams, make wider colonies year after year. They will endure hot, dry locations in full sun for years, but will die out in time.

Although I have never grown a white variety, some of my friends have, and call the pure white variety “Snow Bell.”


I find it difficult to divide Virginia “cowslips” as they are also called, successfully, but they are easily grown from seed sown in the late Fall, or early Spring.

While the soil is cool, they bloom the second or third year, depending upon how well these plants grow. I find it almost impossible to save seeds from my own plants because the seeds shatter so quickly, but if left undisturbed, seedlings will come up all around the “mother plant.”

My favorite planting of Mertensia bluebells surrounds a pink double-flowering almond bush, with golden Phoenix daffodils and early pink tulips nearby.

Grown under lilacs, with a drift of daffodils and low scillas or Muscari comosum monstrosum in front, bluebells plants are breathtaking. Among ferns, north of a house, providing the soil is right, they are also lovely, but the most charming combination of all is with the pure white flowers of Trillium grandiflorum species.

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