VIRGINIA WOODLAND BLUEBELLS Mertensia virginica
A gorgeous native Bluebell with true-blue nodding flowers! Flowers start as pink/violet buds, and then change to deep rich blue flowers as they grow. Blooming begins in very early spring, and last for several weeks. Plants readily naturalize, but do not become invasive. They are ideally situated in a partially d location, though we have some in full sun, and they are quite happy. These are a favorite food for butterflies, and there are few other plants blooming this early in the spring.
Type: Hardy perennial
Hardiness zones: 3-8
Height: 1.5 to 2'
Location: or part sun
Bloom time: Spring
Seeds per pack: 10
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
If you are planting your seeds in late winter or spring, these seeds can be planted outdoors while it is still cool out (once the ground is workable and unfrozen), to receive the cold period naturally in the garden.