Best Steps To Grow Bluebells In Containers

Best Steps To Grow Bluebells In Containers

Best Steps To Grow Bluebells In Containers

There is no finer place to be in April than a bluebell wood. Bluebells bloom from late April to May, and those iconic nodding flowers are full of nectar for moths, bees, and butterflies.

We're fortunate because these magical places are exclusive to the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. We enjoy incredible bluebell carpets pumping out that subtle but unforgettable bluebell scent.

Be cautious of the Spanish bluebell, Hyacinthoides hispanica, as it is vigorous and exceedingly challenging to eradicate when established in gardens.

Plant your miniature bluebell wood, and you will cherish them forever. It also hybridizes with our native bluebell, and any colonies in your garden or nearby regions will quickly become overrun.

In this article, I’ll share easy steps to grow bluebells in containers perfectly.

History & Origin Bluebells

History & Origin Bluebells

Blue Bell Creameries L.P. produces a line of luxury ice cream, comprising year-round and seasonal flavours and comes in 45 different flavours.

Frozen yogurt, sherbet, and more than 70 other ice cream snacks, like Mooo Bars and Country Cones, are all available under the Blue Bell brand.

The company's best-selling flavour is homemade vanilla, the most popular flavour in most of the company's distribution locations.

Fresh, high-quality ingredients and the attention to detail that goes into producing ice cream are two things that Blue Bell takes great delight in.

Blue Bell, headquartered in Brenham, Texas, sells its goods in 12 South, Southeast, and Midwest states.

Despite having a small distribution region, Blue Bell ranks as the third most well-liked ice cream brand in the US and makes about 100,000 gallons daily.

In 1969, Howard Kruse created the firm's best-selling ice cream, Homemade Vanilla, and Blue Bell recruited Metzdorf Advertising Agency to create a country image for the brand.

These two occasions worked well together because its new advertising campaign highlighted the company's country of origin and distinctive hand-cranked ice cream.

Howard Kruse created the new Homemade Vanilla to resemble homemade ice cream that was hand-cranked old-fashioned.

The idea of “The Little Creamery in Brenham” maintained the rural aesthetic that Barnhill and Metzdorf had predominantly developed throughout Blue Bell's advertising history.

By enlisting locals to represent homemade, country-fresh goodness in the advertisements and filming in real Washington County, Texas locations, the new agency's advertising improved the perception of the rural sector.

Types Of Bluebells

It's safe to say that despite these widespread misconceptions and misunderstandings about bluebells, these flowers are one of the most prevalent and well-liked options you'll find in most gardens and meadows worldwide.

The most well-known bluebell species, along with some of its traits and other intriguing details, are listed below:

English Bluebell

1. English Bluebell

These are indigenous to England and France, also known as “British bluebells.” Since the 1500s, these magnificent purple-blue blossoms have graced and adorned gardens and forested regions.

It is a stunning deep-blue bloom that averages 12 inches in height and has long, straight sides with petals that curl upward at the end.

In the woodlands, this flower blooms profusely, especially in the spring. Therefore, it is preferable to plant them in the fall so that they will bloom and explode with colour as spring arrives.

Virginia Bluebell

2. Virginia Bluebell

This ephemeral springtime plant is indigenous to Eastern North America and features bell-shaped sky blue blooms with rounded gray-green leaves.

They are connected to other species like the comfrey and the forget-me-not because they are members of the Boraginaceae family.

Due to their stunning light blue-purple colour, they are also regarded as some of the prettiest spring flowers to cultivate in one's garden.

The bluebells start looking quite pink when they are in their bud state, but they quickly bloom and take on a darker, richer hue.

Scottish Bluebell

3. Scottish Bluebell

This kind of bluebell is also called “harebells,” a word with deep roots in magic. It essentially began with the observation that Scottish Bluebells frequently flourish in hare-infested pastures. There are several intriguing hypotheses associated with the name.

According to an intriguing story, witches in antiquity used to transform into hares and hide among these flowers, hence the name “harebells” for the flower.

Scottish bluebells also go by the less common name “Fairies' Thimbles,” which is intriguing because it refers to the belief that fairies reside among these blooms.

Scottish bluebells are primarily found in the Northern Hemisphere and travel from the North Mediterranean to Europe.

Campanula Bluebell

4. Campanula Bluebell

The word “Campanula,” which means “small bell” in Latin, refers to a genus with more than 500 species and is found in subtropical areas of the Northern Hemisphere mountains in Africa and Asia.

Some of these species include perennial, annual, and biennial plants, with heights ranging from 6 feet tall for species found in forests to 2 cm on average for arctic and alpine species.

Hybrid Bluebell

5. Hybrid Bluebell

The common bluebell and the Spanish bluebell were crossed to create this hybrid bluebell species.

These two species serve as the parents in the hybrid bluebell cross. This particular nomenclature for hybrid bluebells was first used in 1997 by Belgian botanist D. Geerinck.

Hybrid bluebells' size, shape, and perfume can help you distinguish them from other bluebells.

The hybrid species has more traits than the Spanish bluebell, such as larger leaves, a light, delicate aroma, and drooping flowers covering the entire stem instead of just one side.

Spanish Bluebell

6. Spanish Bluebell

The Iberian Peninsula is the original home of the Spanish bluebell. Compared to their English cousins, they prefer more sun and can withstand dry conditions.

They were first brought to Great Britain in 1680, where they quickly spread and hybridized with native English bluebells, driving them out of the country.

Spanish bluebells are dreaded in Great Britain because they hybridize with the country's beloved native bluebells and are so difficult to eradicate.

The bulbs penetrate the soil deeply. They will establish themselves in their new location regardless of whether they are dug up and thrown into a compost or garbage pile. Put them in a garbage bag and dispose of them with the trash if you want to get rid of them.

Grow Bluebells In Containers

Bluebells are lovely, low-maintenance flowers that will grow back year after year, covering your yard in a stunning carpet of blue blooms.

In this article, you may enjoy the beauty of bluebells in your garden for many years by learning everything you need to know about cultivating and caring for them.

Containers To Grow Bluebells

Choose A Container

Bluebells can be cultivated in pots with top-notch, well-drained soil in a shaded area. Make sure the pot has enough drainage holes, then plant the bulbs according to directions for green and dry bulbs.

Select a pot with suitable drainage holes and use high-quality potting soil. After they have flowered, you can replant them in your garden.

Soil To Grow Bluebell In Containers

Soil To Grow Bluebell In Containers

Like most bulbs, bluebells should be cultivated in nutrient-rich, freely draining soil. One of the most crucial elements is drainage, as poor drainage rotates the bulb and destroys the plant.

That rules out using heavy clay soils unless you modify them with compost. Bluebells are not particularly picky about their soil conditions, save from drainage.

They may endure for a very long time in sand or on soil that is just moderately productive.

Although slightly acidic soil is preferred, it can also thrive in slightly alkaline soils. You should aim for a pH of between 5.5 and 7.5 to be in good shape.

Planting Bluebell Bulbs

Planting Bluebell Bulbs

It is ideal for growing green bluebell bulbs in the spring. They should be buried at least 4 inches (10 cm) deep.

For a more natural appearance, disperse the bulbs and plant them where they land rather than planting them in bunches.

After planting, green bulbs may take a few years to become established. They often only produce leaves because they concentrate their energy on the root system in the first year. In the fall, dry bluebell bulbs can be planted.

Light Requirements

Light Requirements

Plant bluebells where there is a dotted shade for the closest replication of their native habitat.

Given their environment, they are ideal for planting beneath moderately dense trees. Locations with some early shade and afternoon sun are also acceptable.

Although dappled light is preferable, it is not always the case for gardeners. Fortunately, these lights can withstand a variety of illumination situations.

They flourish in wide-open spaces where they spend most of the day in full sunlight.

Although places with at least some light throughout the day are preferable to deep shade regions, they may also withstand full shade.

Water Requirements

English bluebells need plenty of moisture during the winter (in warmer climes) and spring growing seasons.

After planting, give bulbs plenty of water. When the top two to four inches of soil begin to dry up, irrigate the area to keep the soil moist.

When development starts, irrigate sparingly since too much moisture might lead to bulb rot.

Water the foliage until it dies down after flowering. English bluebells swiftly multiply after the first couple of seasons of a good watering.

Temperature & Humidity

Bluebells need a temperate climate with mild to warm summers and cool, shaded winters. They don't do well in warm, dry climates.

English bluebells can tolerate frigid temperatures as low as -20F for brief periods of time and are quite robust.

When the temperature decreases, the plant prepares to emerge from the soil again the next spring.

They thrive in USDA Zones 5-8 but can grow in Zones 4 or 9 under extreme conditions. As long as they receive enough water to keep the soil moist, excessive heat is not a big problem when planted in the dappled shade they enjoy.



Sprinkle a bulb fertilizer or a granular, slow-release fertilizer with higher phosphorus and lower nitrogen content around the plants when new shoots sprout in the spring.


After the plants have completed flowering, keeping the foliage alone is crucial. The bulbs are strengthened for the following year by the sunlight the leaves collect.

If you want fewer plants the following year, leave the old flower spikes in place; otherwise, clip them off to prevent self-seeding and spreading.



In July and August, seeds naturally mature and disperse. The simplest method of growing the plants to produce a natural carpet of blue is to allow them to self-seed.

You might decide to save the seeds from your flowers if you want to start a new carpet. Purchase open-pollinated seeds as an alternative to ensure you receive pure H. non-Scripta blooms and not the hybrid.

As soon as you gather the seeds in the summer, plant them. Spread over rich soil that is rich in organic matter or amends with compost, manure, or well-rotted leaf mould.

Alternately, scatter on the surface of tiny, three- or four-inch pots filled with potting soil that drains well, top with a thin layer of compost or soil, and keep the medium moist.

In July and August, seeds naturally mature and disperse. The simplest method of growing the plants to produce a natural carpet of blue is to allow them to self-seed.

You might decide to save the seeds from your flowers if you want to start a new carpet. Purchase open-pollinated seeds as an alternative to ensure you receive pure H. non-Scripta blooms and not the hybrid.

Dividing bulb offsets is an efficient approach to ensuring pure English bluebells and result in a considerably faster propagation to the flowering period.

When a clump forms above ground, you'll know your mature plants have healthy bulb offsets to divide.

Remove bulb offsets when the leaves have turned brown in the middle to the end of the summer. Dig up the bulb slowly, then use your hands to take the offsets out.

See our guide for more information on how to grow bulbs at home. Replant right away to prevent the roots from drying out.

The soil is prepared by aerating and enriching it with compost, thoroughly decayed leaf mould or manure.

Potting And Repotting

Potting And Repotting

You can also plant English bluebells in containers. Fill a pot with potting soil and use a container with good drainage holes.

The container size will depend on how many bulbs you are planting, but you can plant them closely because they won't need room to grow.

Till the bulbs sprout, keep the potting soil moist but not soggy. Then, anytime the soil becomes dry, water it. Move the bulbs into a spot with some shade once they have sprouted.

Transplant the bulbs to a larger pot as soon as they crowd the current one.


English bluebells don't require winter protection because they can withstand winters up to USDA zone 4. However, potted bulbs require protection from freezing conditions.

To ensure the roots are well-insulated, bury the container in garden soil in the fall if possible. Place the container inside an insulating silo for the winter if that isn't an option.

How To Get Bluebells To Bloom

How To Get Bluebells To Bloom

Your English bluebell plants might need more time if they aren't flowering. It may take a few years after you divide them before you see them blossom.

Overfertilization with nitrogen results in leaves but no blooms, which is why English bluebells fail to blossom. To change nutrient content, fertilize the plants with a bulb fertilizer.

Pests & Diseases Of Bluebells

Animals, including deer, rabbits, and rats, cannot harm H. non-Scripta. These plants don't have any significant insect pests to be concerned about, even though the blooms draw a variety of pollinators.

Slugs and snails can become a problem during damp springs. Read our article to learn how to defend your garden from these common garden pests.

These plants may host the pathogen Uromyces muscari, sometimes known as bluebell rust. Rust is visible on leaves as little patches of yellowing with dark spots forming an oval or circle in the center.

Even though it can be slightly unpleasant once you discover it, the plant is not substantially harmed.

Uses Of Bluebells

Uses Of Bluebells

The bulb has diuretic and styptic effects, albeit not frequently employed in modern medicine.

It has been used as a styptic for leucorrhoea when dried and powdered; Sir John Hill (1716–75) claimed that there is hardly a more potent treatment while cautioning that the dose shouldn't exceed 3 grains.

He also tells us that a decoction of the bulb functions by urine. Tennyson mentions the use of bluebell juice to treat snakebite.

Despite having a faint, starch-like aroma, the blossoms have not been associated with any medical benefits.

The fresh form of the bulbs is toxic. When stiff ruffs were worn in the past, the syrupy juice that is abundantly present in them and found in every part of the plant has been utilized as a substitute for starch. Because of its gooey texture, it was also used as bookbinders' gum.

According to Gerard, it was also employed to attach feathers to arrows. De Candolle (1778–1841) proposed that the plentiful mucilage might be used commercially.

Conclusion To The Best Steps To Grow Bluebells In Containers


The British Isles have the highest densities of bluebells. Bluebells flower and leaf early in the spring and complete most of their growth before the woodland canopy closes over.

They frequently cover the forest floor with a violet-blue carpet, affectionately known as “bluebell woods.”

I trust you enjoyed this article on the Best Steps To Grow Bluebells In Containers. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!



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