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How to grow bluebells

Updated February 21, 2017

Bluebells, known as Hyacinthoides non-scripta, or the common bluebell, are native to the UK and frequently found in woodland settings. The Bluebell has a mass of long leaves from which grows tall stems -- ranging in height from 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) with bell-shaped blossoms that bloom in early to mid spring. As delicate as these flowers look, they are not difficult to grow

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  1. Select the area to plant the bluebell bulbs. They thrive best in partial shade or dappled sunlight; if they must receive light, they do best with a little morning sun and afternoon shade. These flowers can be planted under deciduous trees, or in borders, but do not do well when crowded by other flowers. Sow compost or organic matter into the soil to help retain moisture.

  2. Plant the bluebell bulbs in late summer or early autumn. Dig a hole 5 cm (2 inches) deep. Set the bulbs in a mass in the hole, with the flat side down and pointed end up, spacing no more than 7.5 cm (3 inches) apart. If you are planting white bluebells, handle carefully; the bulb is brittle and can be easily damaged. Carefully spread soil over the bulbs, gently tamping it down. Water to settle soil around the roots. Water moderately during the autumn and winter, especially if planted in warmer temperatures.

  3. Water the bluebells moderately once the flower blooms. The flowering season of a bluebell is generally from April to May. They suffer if there is a sudden heatwave during the spring.

  4. Remove faded blossoms. Leave the stems if you want the plants to reseed themselves. Keep the soil moist until the foliage dies down and them remove it at ground level. The bulbs do best when left alone, but if they get overcrowed, they can be lifted and divided in late summer. However, replant immediately to avoid drying out the bulbs.

  5. Tip

    Bluebells have no specific pest or disease problems.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bluebell bulbs
  • Shovel or bulb digger
  • Compost or organic matter
  • Water

About the Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.

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