Has Anyone WS Virginia Bluebells?

docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)April 29, 2012

I have these growing wild in my wooded yard. They are beautiful and I'm now seeing seed pods forming on the plants. What I've read so far describes them as slow to germinate and requiring cold stratification. I'm wondering if they would do well summer sown fresh from the pod. Any experience? TIA

Martha

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Yes, I have ws'n them this winter as well as the past 2 winters. I sow them early in the winter so they get a long stratification period. I usually only get 2-3 sprouts each year, they're not abundant germinators. For those that don't sprout, I dump the soil and spread it so that misc. seeds can germinate out in the garden if they're so inclined.

I now have seedlings that sprouted this year, and plants that are 1 and 2 years old. None have bloomed yet! It is slow to bloom from seed and probably will bloom by the 3rd year.

How lucky you are that you have them growing wild! They are one of my very favorite perennials.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Thanks, Terrene. I wonder if I wouldn't be better off just direct sowing them. But then I wouldn't be able to identify the seedlings to preserve them if they do sprout. I'm trying to limit the number of stray containers hanging around the yard. My husband is very tolerant, but he's a neat freak about the yard and hates the pot ghetto. I am lucky to have the VB growing wild. It's very tempting to take a shovel back into the woods and move them to a spot we could enjoy more. The previous owners did, or they bought one and planted it in the bed by the front door. Maybe I should just enjoy that one. No, I can't resist wintersowing some. Then I can enjoy them to my heart's content without any guilt. Wish me luck.

Martha

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dem_pa

I received this plant in a plant swap. It has multiplied. I'm glad to know it gives seeds, too. I just took a photo of mine under my maple tree. The rabbit guards it day and night. lol.

Don

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Don I think yours looks like scilla, not Virginia bluebells.

Scilla increases at the bulb, and by seed - the rabbit may not need to be that diligent. Its terribly aggressive and a real nuisance in my mild climate, I've been digging it out for years. I know its appreciated in other climates, but a pain here :)

Docmom, I don't grow mertensia virginica but Druse, Making More Plants, says sow fresh seed outdoors when ripe (for germination the following spring), or carefully divide after flowering....if that helps you at all.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Thanks, Morz8. I think I'll sow one container and toss the rest of the seeds into my mixed shade perennial bed. Then, if I get germination in the container, I'll know what to watch out for when weeding the garden bed.

Martha

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 7:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dem_pa

I'm sorry I posted the photo.

Don

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

stick with latin....clears up confusion,

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Don't be sorry, it's not your fault bluebell may mean more than one plant depending on who you are talking to. Bakemom has a good point - common names can be confusing.

If you want to increase your scilla/bluebell and are not leaving it to its own devices, the seeds are black, shiny in the pod when ripe. You could have best results Fall sowing them, giving them a warm, cold, cool sequence. That little grass blade like seedling will produce about a BB sized bulb in the first several weeks, don't think you've lost them if they go summer dormant - this is one tough plant ;)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Thank-you to everyone for their responses, including the photo. It's good for me to be reminded that there are many common names that can refer to many popular plants. I still prefer the common names, since that's what I grew up with, but I'm willing to put up with some confusion once in a while. I almost posted the latin name in my original post, but decided I was too lazy an din too much of a hurry to look it up. Sorry for the confusion.

Martha

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Actually, I think the pic Don posted is of Hyacinthus hispanica, Spanish Bluebells. Apparently there are lots of plants called bluebells! I love Spanish bluebells too, but the vole wiped out most of mine in the front garden. :(

I would love to be able to sow some fresh seeds of Mertensia virginica (there's some latin for ya). I've sowed only the dried seed and it seems to have a low germination rate.

Docmom, you will have to find an out of the way place for the "pot ghetto". I don't know how to garden and not have one!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I agree - Don's photo shows Hyacynthoides hispanica, Spanish bluebells, and is neither a Scilla nor a Mertensia. They will self sow as well as spreading by bulbs. They are a weed in some regions, including mine.

I would gladly swap them for some Mertensia virginica but sadly it doesn't like my conditions or my snails.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Ooops, Hyacinthoides!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeanne

It might not have been the right bluebell but it sure is beautiful, Don! Pretty pictures are always a good thing in my book. :)

Martha, here is a pic of Virginia Bluebell seedlings. They have the same texture as the adults, I find them hard to miss. They have a tendency to self sow right in the paths, I tiptoe around them until digging them out and potting them up. They get replanted after they go dormant.

Jeanne

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

We're getting a little away from the original question here, but several references show Hyacinthoides hispanica, syn. Endymion hispanicus, syn. Scilla hispanica to all be what were once names for the same plant/bulb :)

I think we've agreed Martha has mertensia, and I'll continue to hope that DemPa's bulbs in that climate do not cause him the same amount of headache they do me. Someday I'll have to describe the bluebell digging work parties we've had over the years on this block....The deer helped one late winter only, that single year ate them to the ground and they still came back and bloomed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Syn, or aka's, or at least once aka

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:49PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
how long for annuals to sprout?
I moved and cannot find my records from last year....
ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a
List of Seed Companies Owned by Monsanto
If you want to avoid using GMO seeds, here is a list...
bbmiche
Unknown seedling in with foxgloves
I planted foxgloves (digitalis), which are the small...
sandyslopes z5 n. UT
winter sowing a raised bed?
I am considering ws a raised bed in my backyard and...
maryjozone5
ws foxglove in 2liter
I'm a newbie and have been ws in 2liter bottles. For...
gardentherapy.
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™