Growing Guide
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Virginia Bluebells

Herbaceous Perennial Flower, Wildflower

Also known as Virginia Cowslip
Mertensia virginica
Boraginaceae Family
Synonym: Mertensia pulmanarioides

This woodland wildflower and garden classic is well known for its dainty, nodding, bell-like blue-purple blooms in spring. Likes moist, partly shady sites.

Site Characteristics
  • part shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires damp soil
Prefers rich soil that is kept moist but not overly soggy.

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 9
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 1.5 feet

Spread: 0.75 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-spring
  • late spring

Flower color:

  • blue
  • violet

Flowers are purplish-blue.

Foliage color: medium green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: upright

Shape in flower: flower stalks with flowers hanging downward

Bell-like blooms nod from erect flower stems.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • native to North America - Eastern U.S.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, division or separation - Sow seeds where desired in spring or fall. Divide in early fall.

Maintenance and care:
Keep soil moist but not soggy. The plants die back after flowering (early to midsummer), and so should be planted near later growing plants that will mask the gap they leave after disappearance.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

‘Alba’: pure white blooms.

‘Rubra’: pink blooms.