Virginia Bluebells

karen_mcgaffney(5BOH)May 14, 2004

I have m aybe 4 nice size virginia bluebells in a garden of mine..My goal is that they naturalize..Today I was at the nursery and they had HUGE pots of va bluebells and I was tempted to buy more but did not. Will the ones I have continue to spread??do they self seed?

if not I may go back and get another pot of them


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When I moved in 5 springs ago, I discovered a lot of spring ephemerals, including one rather large virginia bluebell. It continued to bloom and spread just a little until last year. It did not return this year either. It's a goner and I have no idea why. My point, though, is that in the time I had it, it hardly increased in size. And I'm sure that plant was there for a while before I moved in.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2004 at 9:28PM
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ayardatlast(z5 IA)

My opinion is that you can never have too many bluebells, so buying more can't hurt. In my limited experience, they do self sow well. I got mine from a neighbor whose yard is covered with them- they even come up through the cracks in the sidewalk and curb. I transplanted them into my small "woodland" plot and also the parkway (which is dry shade under Norway maples), and they all did great this spring.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2004 at 4:59PM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

The self seed with abandon. I have one patch about4 ft by 12 ft woth individual clumps scattered throughout my woods.I am trying to emulate what they do in a woods.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2004 at 9:54PM
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lesley4936(z5 WI)

Do you have to let virginia bluebells die back like daffodils and tulips? Or can I cut them down after they flower/go to seed? I have TONS of them and love them, but would like to cut them back to make room for other things.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2004 at 9:07PM
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don't give up if the bluebells didn't come up one year. my one plant skipped a year. i got a wonderful surprise this spring.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 7:18PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

Hi Woodland plant people :-) I just found this forum on a Google search for bluebells. I'd love to have some bluebells to plant in among the hostas in my garden but am having a hard time locating anywhere (online at least) that sells them. Does anyone have a suggestion?

This is my first time in the Woodlands forum, although I'm a fairly regular in the Minnesota Gardening forum and the Hosta foram and a fairly newbie in the Cottage garden forum as well.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 1:29AM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

Gene Bush always has 'em in his catalog, as well as a ton of other cool things.

Another place I usually order from is Rock Island Wildflowers. They do sell small stuff at low prices. Sometimes it's better to order starts and get 'em established.

Last year I bought a bunch at Home Depot right around this time of year bare root, already had a bunch just couldn't resist.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 3:56PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

Thank you! I've found the bluebells in both online catalogs!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 10:01PM
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weedlady(Central OH 6)

Last year, not long after they flowered, some critter made a meal of both my nice clumps of bluebells--chewed 'em right to the ground. I had been waiting/hoping for seed so I could spread them around. I despaired that they would even some back this year (they did not re-grow any foliage last year after they had been eaten) but I am very happy to say the clumps both have returned with great vigor. This spring I already have sprayed them with Liquid Fence (commercial repellant) and will also cage them to be certain they live! (Hopefully, they will bloom, but maybe not since the foliage did not die back on its own.)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 10:27PM
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My bluebells self sow like crazy and pop up everywhere. For a while I was digging them up from the center of paths and other inconvenient places. Now I just welcome them any and everywhere and when they start to look ragged, I cut them off. If you want them to naturalize, I'd buy a few more to give the process a boost.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 9:16PM
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wichywmn(z7 VA)

I just recently bought some white VA bluebells - or would that be VA whitebells? The alba variety looks so pretty as well, but nothing replaces the "blue" in the bluebells!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 12:21PM
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wow, i didn't know the white ones were available commercially. there is one place in the woods where i work that is the only spot i hve ever seen white bluebells. and, i have been in the woods alot in 34 years.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 8:48PM
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jgaughran(z6 NY)

Weedlady's story about her bluebells being eaten by critters scares me - I planted a bunch of bare root guys (or rhizomes - don't remember) last fall and they're all coming up. I'm so excited. If they get eaten, I'll flip out. Do deer like them? Is liquid fence necessary for these guys? Will do if I have to . . .

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 9:43PM
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bhrost(zone 5 NY)

My experience as well is that they spread rapidly. If you want to naturalize an area quickly, this plant will do it. If you have some growing well already, I wouldn't spend money for additional purchases - just be patient.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 5:58PM
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Mine look like they spread this spring pretty!!!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 10:14PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Glad to hear most of you have had good luck with the BlueBells. We went to a local plant sale in the fall that was 75% off and we took our chances with everyting b/c they no longer had greenery showing (had already died back for winter). We got 3 pots of Virginia Bluebells, 3 pots of Solomon's Seal and 3 pots of Bunchberry. At first we thought all 9 pots were duds and we vowed not to take our chances with the fall sales but we've just found that the bluebells have sprouted and we are really pleased. They have such big roundy leaves...very pretty and such a contrast to all the feathery foliage that our little woodland garden currently has (blue cohash, columbine, ferns etc.)

Good luck to everyone else's bluebells. :o)


    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 12:19PM
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