How to Plant and Grow Bluebells
Although bluebells are wildflowers, they are popular in many homes. The brilliant blue blossoms add a dash of color to the landscape. If you grow them, you will enjoy the presence of hummingbirds in your garden, which are attracted to the flowers because of their bell-shape which makes it easy to extract nectar from. Bluebells grow easily and do not require much care. They are best grown from bulbs. Following is a guide to help you plant and care for the flower.
Step 1 - Select Site
Select a site that receives some sunlight but has plenty of shade. They do best where sunlight is not direct. A site that receives morning sunlight with shade in the afternoon is best. If you have deciduous trees in your yard, plant them under the trees. Bluebells prefer much space so do not plant where other flowers are already planted.
Step 2 - Soil Preparation
The flowers will do best in fertile, well-drained soils. Soil acidity should fall between pH 5.0-6.0. If your soil is too acidic you can tone it down with the addition of lime. Till the soil well, add some compost and mix well.
Step 3 - Planting
The best time to plant the bulbs is in the summer or early fall. This will allow the plants adequate time to establish themselves before the harsh winter weather sets in. Dig a hole that's about 3 inches deep. Place the bulbs inside so that the pointed end faces upwards. Refill the hole and pat down the soil.
Step 4 - Watering
Once you've planted, water the bulbs. This will help the soil to compact with the roots. Water twice a week until the plant blooms. You can then water moderately. Bluebells normally bloom around May. Do not drench the soils with water. The roots will get suffocated which will cause the plant to die. Also be careful to avoid water getting onto the foliage and flowers. Wet conditions will encourage fungal infections. It is best to give the plants water in the morning. This will allow enough time during the day for the plant to dry out.
Step 5 - Mulching
It is a good idea to mulch your bluebells in the summer and winter. This will help retain soil moisture and reduce the need for frequent watering. Mulch will help to maintain soil temperatures within an ideal range. It will also help to prevent frost heaving from occurring during the winter. Use organic mulch that consists of sawdust, shredded bark or chopped leaves.
Step 6 - Dividing
Bluebells spread rapidly and will return each spring. You will need to divide them every 2 years or so otherwise they will crowd out nearby plants. The best time to divide is in the late summer or early fall. Focus on those that are outgrowing their space. Replant immediately to prevent drying out. Follow the same procedure as when you planted. Add some compost. The plants should be well-established in the spring.