Mertensia virginica - Virginia Bluebells
Virginia Bluebells are one of America's most beloved wildflowers. Perennial in all zones, they thrive in shady, woodsy settings and are easy to grow. Plants are about two tall, with draping light green leaves. The flowers are extraordinary. In spring, nodding clusters of pink buds open into pale blue flowers. The show lasts about 3 weeks.
Easy to grow, they grow wild in moist wooded areas, and need dappled shade, rich soil, even moisture, perfect in a fern garden. Hardy to zone 3, they'll grow most anywhere woodsy, and do nicely in a container. They self seed and multiply gradually over time.
Sow the seeds outdoors in fall or stratify before planting in spring. These lovelies are accustomed to four seasons and welcome a bit of winter before the big spring show.
*****30 days of cold stratification required!*****
******COLD stratification required!!!*******
Seeds require cold stratification. Either plant them in late fall direct sow into the ground, or surface sow in a pot small enough to fit in the refrigerator. Surface sow seeds and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator for a minimum of four weeks, 4 to 6 weeks being ideal. Keep soil moist but not soaking wet during cold stratification. At the end of this time, keep plastic wrap over pot and place in a warm, sunny location. Remove plastic wrap once you have seedlings.