Bells Of Ireland Planting Care In your Garden
Bells Of Ireland Plant Self Seeding Old Fashion Annuals
Bells of Ireland or shell flower or Moluccella Laevis is a remarkable foliage plant for your garden. They are noted for their granny smith apple green calyces arranged on long spikes. This annual is native to Syria, Turkey, and the Caucasus. The plant produces tiny white flowers. This plant is mainly grown for their showy calyxes and not for the white fragrant flowers. The blooming period is summer. The blooming stems of the plant are used in cut flower arrangements or in dry flower arrangements. Irish consider this plant as a lucky symbol and hence the name. They are widely used as wedding bouquets. They are well suited as garden borders. The leaves are pale green in colour and are oval-shaped. These are fast growing plants and can reach to the height of 1 metre and can spread to about 30 cm. These plants grow well in cool weather, but cannot withstand a humid and hot climate.
How to grow Bells of Ireland
As they are cool weather loving plants, that do well in areas with full to partial sun. They can be grown in containers, in decks or on patios. Though the plant requires rich loamy soil, they can thrive in average soil conditions if fertilisers are provided at regular intervals.
- The plant requires moist, but well-drained soil. Frequent watering is needed during dry or summer months.
- Adding fertilisers rich in nitrogen once in a month can promote healthy and lush growth. Staking of the plant is needed in areas with high winds.
- If you wish to use blooming stems in dry flower arrangement, harvest them when flowering is at their peak from mid to late summer. Hang the stalks upside down in a well-ventilated area to dry them.
- When used as a cut flower in vases, their flowers can last for 7 days. This is the ideal plant and will be a show off any green themed garden.
Propagation How To Plant Bells of Ireland
The Bells of Ireland can be propagated well through the seeds. As the plant does not transplant well.
It is better to sow them directly in the garden soil.
The best time to sow the Bells of Ireland seeds is now during early spring.
You can also start the seeds indoors during late winter and transplant them later when the soil is cool.
Before sowing the seeds, place them in the freezer at least for one week by covering it with a single layer of moist paper towel and keeping it covered in plastic pouches.
Do not cover the seeds sown in the soil completely. The seeds require light for germination.
When sown during a temperature of 23C to 25C and 70 to 75 degrees F, germination will take about 14 to 28 days. Providing plant spacing of at least 30cm or 12 inches apart is ideal for proper growth. It will take 90 to 110 days for the plant to become mature after germination.
Bells of Ireland are self-seeding plants, so once you have them you can always collect the seeds and have them to sprinkle around growing in your garden the following year.
Caring for Bells of Ireland
It is easy to grow and puts on a spectacular green show. While maintenance requirements are low and it is generally trouble-free as attacks by pests and diseases are rare. This plant does not require pruning. Staking is needed for plants located in windy areas. You need to purchase the best quality seeds from reliable online nurseries or local garden shops. Try growing some today!