Sweetly fragrant English bluebells love a deciduous forest but can be happy in a shady backyard. Keep them away from invasive cousin Spanish bluebells.
When to Plant
Wild garlic, aconites
English Bluebells: A Field Guide
Strong, sweetly fragrant English bluebells love a deciduous forest. In fact, they’re a common identifier of ancient woodlands. Yet bluebells can be nearly as happy in a shady backyard garden.
Happiest in the British Isles but grown in Europe and America as well, Hyacinthoides non-scripta creates a violet-blue carpet before the woodland canopy closes in late spring. Most bluebells are grown from bulbs, love well-drained soil, and will need some water for the first couple of seasons. Once established, bluebells can handle dry soil and will multiply profusely. A mature plant reaches a foot in diameter. Don’t confuse English bluebells with their tougher, more invasive cousin, the Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica).