Bluebell flowers grow naturally in wooded areas. In the United States they have become a favourite among wild flower lovers. The bluebell is easy to care for and spreads rapidly under the right conditions. This flower is a favourite of hummingbirds because of the shape of its blooms. The flowers are long and narrow, creating the perfect cup for a hummingbird to take nectar from.
Bluebells are a perennial plant named for the shape of the flower which looks like a tiny bell. These flowers grow in clusters and are usually, but not always, blue as the name implies. Bluebells can be a creamy, off-white colour. The cream-coloured bluebell is rarely found in nature. This plant has long stems and narrow leaves. It grows to be 12 to 18 inches tall.
Bluebells are native to England and Scotland. They are the national flower of Scotland, where they symbolise constancy and gratitude. Bluebells are common in wooded areas of Scotland, England and now in the United States.
In mythology, bluebells are used by fairies to trap passersby, especially young children. They symbolise death in Britain and are often planted on graves there. The bluebell is a poisonous plant. The chemicals that make the bluebell poisonous were used in ancient alchemy and are now being researched for potential medical uses.
Bluebells grow in USDA zones 3 to 8. They are grown from bulbs, which can endure frosts and hot temperatures. Plant the bulbs 2 inches underground in the fall, before the first frost. Plant bluebells at least 12 inches apart. The bluebell prefers partial sun with some shade in the afternoon. They do well when planted with ferns and other woodland plants. These plants do best when kept moist, so water them daily. Bluebells are useful for keeping the pest nematodes under control.
Bluebells are rapidly spreading perennials. As perennials, they will return each spring. As they return, they spread in clumps and choke out nearby vegetation if they are not divided every two or three years. Divide plants that are outgrowing their space in the garden. Divide the plants in fall. Place plant divisions in the ground before the threat of frost. Place 2 inches of manure over bulbs in the fall to ensure healthy plants the following spring.