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The Plant Guide

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Virginia bluebells

Mertensia pulmonarioides

mer-TEN-see-ah pull-mon-ar-ee-OY-deez

This clump-forming perennial has light blue to purplish blue pendulous flowers that open from pink buds atop 16- to 24-inch stems in mid- to late spring. Elliptic to ovate, hairless, bluish green leaves yellow and die back once the flowers fade after about 10 days.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsVirginia bluebells can carpet a spring woodland.

CarePrefers loamy soil in a location with midday shade.

PropagationDivide clumps carefully as new growth commences in spring. Take root cuttings when dormant.

ProblemsYoung growth may be damaged by slugs or snails. Powdery mildew, rust, and leaf smut.

  • Genus : Mertensia
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Plant Width : 6 to 12 inches
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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