Mertensia virginica

VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS

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Mertensia virginica
VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS

Mertensia virginica is one of the blooming treats of early spring.

Crisp sky-blue – like the finest of early spring days

First Pink buds emerge with the hint of spring arriving. Then open initially to pink bells, which quickly change to the most glowing, crisp sky-blue – like the finest of spring days.
Hence the common name of Virginia Bluebells.
Because they do grow in Virginia, and they do resemble Bluebells, and certainly welcome in the spring joy just like Bluebells.
And happily continue to bloom for a long period right through spring.

Bees & pollinators love them, but rabbits do not

Bees, butterflies and our flying pollinator friends are besotted with the blue bells all spring.
However rabbits do not enjoy the flavour of Mertensia foliage.
Virginia Bluebells are rarely if ever troubled by pests or diseases, though in wet areas snails may need to be controlled (they like the same shaded conditions as the Mertensia).

Virginia Bluebells love the company of trees & shrubs

Mertensia virginica is a natural born woodland plant.
So at it’s best drifting about in the shade, amongst the trunks and roots, under trees and shrubs. It looks heavenly planted as an informal drift.
So plant in Shade under deciduous trees and shrubs, or in Dappled Part Shade under evergreens.

Very frost hardy

Mertensia virginica is exceptionally frost hardy. So it is able to withstand hard frosts down to at least -25C.
And it is not at all choosy about soil types, thriving equally well in sandy soil, garden loam, or clay.
However it does enjoy regular moisture.
In areas with summer dry, the plant will protect itself by going dormant until the autumn rains return.
While it remains evergreen in areas with summer rains.
Mertensia thoroughly enjoys and appreciates mulch, particularly in drier areas.

Hardy shade loving perennial.
45cm. High in blissfully blue flowers x 60cm. Wide soft foliage clump.

SEED SOWING ADVICE: Mertensia virginica

Sow indoors.

INDOORS: First sow the seeds in a punnet on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then gently pat the seeds to the surface of the mix to ensure good contact, but do not cover.
Because these seeds germinate better with light.

Now place in a warm, well-lit position (not in direct sun) for 2-4 weeks.
And continue to keep moist.
Covering with a clear lid helps to maintain moisture.
And you can use a heat mat if you have one, but it is not essential.

Because temperatures around 20°C. for 2-4 weeks are ideal to prepare the seed for germination.

Now wrap the moist, sown punnet in cling wrap or a plastic bag. Make sure it is thoroughly moist.
And place in the fridge (not freezer) for a further 6 weeks.

Then remove, unwrap, moisten again.
And return to a warm, well-lit position.
Temperatures around 20°C. are ideal for rapid and optimum germination.

Seeds germinate in approx. 10-30 days. Staggered seed germination is normal, and a natural defence strategy for this plant.

SEED COUNT: 20 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count, and give a generous serve).

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