Bells of Ireland

zaphod42April 13, 2011

Thoughts on this plant? Picked up a seed packet and thought to give a try to fill in some blank spaces until I can get perennials in there. Says they're annual, but will reseed. Do they reseed a lot?


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One of my old favorites, never fails to grow for me; and yes, they will re-seed but I've never had them go crazy. But then again, I've never planted BOI in prepared flower beds with great soil, just in borders in the orchard where they often compete with weeds.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:08AM
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Love them,have had them a couple of times,mine were'nt really all that prolofic.I keep meaning to plant again but keep forgetting.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 5:30PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Schoolhouse and Kathi, did you both plant actual plants or have you started from seed? I bought a packet of seeds and it looked like they needed so cold so I threw them with the rest of the WS stuff outside. No sprouts as of yet though. Just curious if you've had success from seed with these. Thanks

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 6:19PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I have always wanted to try them after seeing them in a friends garden. I even had a pack of seeds once but never got around to growing them so gave them away. I think TM (ThinMan) grows these for his cut flower bouquets, if he reads this thread maybe he can chime in.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 6:45PM
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Always have planted seeds when the soil warms up(middle of May or after Memorial Day depending upon how warm temps are) and get good germination and nice plants.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 7:45PM
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Seed for me,i generally try lots of things from seed,that's me being frugal!!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 5:20PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

I grow them every year, but I never get as many as I want. I've found that the reseeders from the previous year always seem to germinate better than the ones I try to start. To take advantage of that trait, I sowed a row of them last fall so the seeds would get the full outdoor winter experience. I also froze and soaked some on the advice of something I read somewhere. Those are in the ground now too, and when things warm up more in Michigan, I'm hoping to see some success from at least one of the rows. Maybe the joke will be on me (not unusual) and I'll get most of my plants again from the reseeders.

Anyone have any good tips? Johnny's seeds' advice is to sow them as early in the spring as the ground can be worked, so that's what I have been doing.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:13PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

The seeds I sowed last fall are in fact coming up! I was just out and looked under the row cover that was protecting the seeds, and there are quite a few seedlings popping up. I am just really happy that this worked and would do an Irish jig if I knew how. I guess I know how to grow Bells of Ireland now. Yippee.

I also had some of the soaked seeds left over and two weeks ago I put them in a 72 cell tray. It has been sitting on the floor of the greenhouse since then. So far I have only three seedlings in there.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 1:38PM
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I just happened to notice some in a pocket garden in NYC very near where I work. So cute!! It's quite a bit warmer here than in z5 CT or where you are, Sue/Thyme. I have an older pack of seeds I got a couple years ago -- On the inspiration of everyone here, I think I'll do what you've done, Thinman, and see what happens. Sue, we should compare in a while!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:26PM
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bouquet(z8 Dallas)

As a child in San Antonio, I remember a back corner of my grandma's yard where Bells of Ireland and purple larkspur always reseeded together on their own every year. I've sown packets of Bells of Ireland in my Dallas garden and never had any luck. Until this year. I have 1 (one) lone Bell of Ireland. I think I've always thought they were weeds and pulled them up by mistake. Maybe next year I'll have even better luck.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 2:52PM
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Bouquet, was the back corner of your grandmas yard sunny

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:17AM
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bouquet(z8 Dallas)

From what I remember it was a sunny, little corner that faced south and backed up to a garage wall. My lone seedling looks healthy, about 20" tall now with a main spike and 2 side shoots. I'm so proud of it! Looks like these would look cute around the daylilies just now starting to bloom. I'm thinking the seeds should go in at the same time as the larkspur - for me in Dallas thats right around Thanksgiving. Need to do some research to see what I can do with the seeds to increase my germination for next year!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 5:52PM
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hi all!
i'm new to growing bells of ireland, and thought i'd try to grow them as a tribute to my 'nana', who had beautiful ones and was a prolific gardener, and recently passed.

i direct sowed some in a part shady area of my garden against a south facing fence back in mid april. i'm in zone 9 which is in the east bay of the san francisco bay area, it's much warmer than the City. they're growing nicely and range in height from 8-10 inches tall.

so my questions are:
are they too far along to transplant to other areas?
do they prefer afternoon or morning sun?
should they be fertilized? if so, then with what?

thanks so much for your help!

~ angela

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 7:16PM
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I am looking for some seeds if anyone will share. I can trade many perennials and annuals. Sorry to post this here and not on the Trade forum but Bells are not a commonly grown flower so I am hoping. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2014 at 10:53PM
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