How to plant bluebell bulbs

Written by kristen fisher
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How to plant bluebell bulbs
Add a splash of spring colour to your garden with bluebells. (Oxford Scientific/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The bluebell makes an ideal plant for gardeners with shady, wooded gardens and moist soil. Fortunately for all fans of this charming plant, bluebell is highly tolerant and can thrive in light conditions ranging from dappled shade to full sun. Each plant produces up to 100 tiny blue-violet bell-shaped flowers that emit a honey-sweet fragrance and they'll bloom season after season, gradually multiplying in number. Bluebell is the perfect choice for growing in rockeries, under trees or in empty, damp patches of garden that most plants cannot tolerate.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bluebell bulbs
  • Organic manure, peat moss or compost

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  1. 1

    Choose a planting location with moist, well-drained soil and partial shade -- choose an area that will not dry out in summer.

  2. 2

    Add organic matter such as compost, peat moss or decomposed manure to the planting site.

  3. 3

    Plant bluebell bulbs between September and November.

  4. 4

    Plant bulbs 10 cm (4 inches) deep, placing the pointed end of the bulb upwards, and space bulbs 10 cm (4 inches) apart.

  5. 5

    Soak the soil thoroughly, then water as needed to maintain moist soil; expect flowers in April or May.

  6. 6

    When spring flowering begins, make sure the plants have consistently moist soil; be careful not to let summer sun dry out the soil.

  7. 7

    When flowering has finished, allow the bulbs to dry and apply another layer of manure or compost.

  8. 8

    After the summer bloom is over, bulbs will rest until the next growing season begins.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't prune or cut back bluebell immediately after the blooming season; the leaves that remain will collect sunlight to nourish next season's growth. Wait until foliage begins to yellow and die before removing.
  • Feel free to cut flowers during the growing season; cutting will not harm bluebell.
  • Bluebell plants thrive in moist soil but will not grow if waterlogged.

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