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Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells) is a favorite woodland wildflower. This truly breathtaking wildflower produces loose clusters of trumpet-shaped pink flower buds that turn blue when the flower is fully opened. The oval-shaped leaves are alternately located around a thin, smooth single stem that begins curled in shape and extends as it grows into an elegant arch with a showy blossom cluster.

Virginia Bluebells grow well in any garden soil but prefers moist rich soils. Another spring ephemeral, by the end of June the plants are completely dormant. The stems of the plant are subsucculent and nearly hollow so the plant is fragile. If left undisturbed, this species will thrive and form large colonies. This woodlander looks attractive planted next to ferns and hostas.

All of our woodland plants grow naturally on rich, moist forest floors and are perfectly suited for your garden. Add them to an existing wooded area or create your own woodland garden. Dappled shade and humus-rich soil provide perfect growing conditions.


# Description Qty per Unit Units Available Price/Unit
NF130BAG Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells) 25 6 $48.00

Plant Details +

Botanical Mertensia virginica
Common Name Virginia Bluebell or Virginia Cowslip
Family Boraginaceae
Size #1
Height 12-24"
Spacing 12-18"
Hardiness Zones 4-9
Exposure Partial shade to full shade
Foliage Green
Flower Blue
Bloomtime April - June

General Information +

General Characteristics: Virginia bluebell plants grow 12-24" tall with clusters of blue or violet bell-shaped flowers. They can be found in moist, rich, and loamy soils of upland forests, floodplain forests, wetlands and bluffs. Virginia Bluebells will grow in sun but prefer slight to full shade. As a suggestion you might want to combine them with Hostas. Since the Virginia Blue Bells die back after they flower and the Hostas will cover the dead foliage. The plant is useful for naturalizing. The flower buds are pink before they open to blue flowers. Bluebell flowers are approximately one inch long with five stamens surrounding one central pistil. Butterflies are the most common pollinators, because they can easily perch on the edges and still enjoy the nectar. The plants grow in shaded spots and tolerate most soils. A sandy, peaty soil is preferred. Once the plant is established it doesn't like to be disturbed.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: Easily grown in average, medium wet, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, rich soils. Dig a hole large enough to hold the roots. If any roots seem tightly bound, loosen before planting. Fill the hole with water and position the plant so the crown (where the roots meet the stem) is just slightly below the soil line. Fill the hole with soil and water again. Virginia Bluebells are one of the easiest wildflowers to grow. Prefers shade but does well with morning sun.

Pests or Diseases: No serious insect or disease problems. This flower does not transplant well and should not be dug in the wild.