Virginia bluebells is a native American wildflower that occurs in rich woodlands in eastern North America. It is a charming perennial plant that has beautiful, bright blue flowers that open from pink buds. Plants often have a mixture of blue flowers and pink buds in the same flower cluster. It is a very showy and colorful native ornamental plant. It is an erect, clump-forming plant which grows 1-2' tall and features loose, terminal clusters of pendulous, trumpet-shaped, blue flowers (to 1" long) which bloom in early spring. Smooth, oval, bluish green leaves (to 4" long). Foliage dies to the ground by mid-summer as the plant goes dormant.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, rich soils.
Garden Uses. Best massed and left undisturbed in moist, shady woodland, wildflower or native plant gardens. Clumps may be sprinkled in borders or rock gardens, but, since plants go dormant in summer, they must be overplanted with annuals or used in conjunction with perennials (as ferns or hostas) which will expand as the growing season progresses. Hardy in zones 3-8.
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year.
- Place the seeds in a plastic bag and seal it. Store the bag in a refrigerator for 4-6 weeks.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Fill a pot with a mixture of half potting soil and half sand or vermiculite.
- Sow the seeds on the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the container.
- Put the pot in a moist, shady area.
- Water the pot regularly so that the soil is moist but not wet.
- The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.