Virginia Bluebells

 - Mertensia virginica

Light: Partial, Shade
Soil: Sand, Loam, Clay
Moisture: Medium, Moist
Benefits: Pollinators, Hummingbirds
Height: 1'-2'
Blooms: Apr, May
Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7
Color: Pink, Lavender, Blue
Spacing: 1'
Root: Rhizome

QuantityPrice Ea.
1-4 Bare Root $10.99
5-10 Bare Root $9.99
11 Bare Root $8.99


The distinctive blue-pink flowers of Virginia Bluebells appear soon after snow melts. Native to the eastern U.S. this unique woodland wildflower is a true harbinger of spring. Long-lived, the plant expands slowly to form beautiful clumps that return year after year. Early season pollinators appreciate the blooms. Long-tongued bees such as bumblebees and mason bees provide cross-pollination during their visits. Other nectar seeking visitors include the Giant Bee Fly, butterflies, skippers, and Sphinx moths.

Virginia Bluebells go completely dormant in summer. If they are planted too late in the spring, Bluebells may go straight into dormancy without exhibiting any growth. Look for them to emerge the following spring. Bluebells are best planted along with other perennials, such as ferns, which will expand and cover the planting area, as the growing season progresses.

In the garden, Virginia Bluebells prefers a rich, moist soil. Use natural leaf mulch to help enrich the soil and create the right environment for this choice species. As a member of the borage family, which are often covered with bristly hairs, Mertensia virginica stands out with its smooth, oval grayish green foliage.  

Also known as Virginia Cowslip, Lungwort or Roanoke bells.

Planting Tips: We recommend planting ephemerals in early fall while the soil is still warm, or in early spring. Spring installations will have some time to develop before summer dormancy, but will not produce flowers the first year. An early fall planting allows the roots time to establish properly before winter, and gives the plants a stronger start the following spring. This woodland species appreciates a generous application of leaf mulch in the fall.

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