When to plant bluebells

Gardening: The Rich Brothers give tips on planting with pots

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Bluebells are one of the UK’s most common wildflowers, and they’re an easy way to fill gaps in your garden soil beds. With the UK officially ticking over into spring, many people are starting to think about arranging their garden ready for the summer months.

Bluebells are an iconic make-up of British woodland, and they produce unmistakable bell-shaped herbs.

They’re native to western Europe, although the majority of species are found in the UK.

You’ll usually find bluebells in natural woodland, blooming in vast droves in spring.

But you may also be tempted to start growing some bluebells of your own in your back garden.

When to plant bluebells

Planting your bluebells entirely depends on which type you’ve bought.

If you’ve bought dry bulbs – bulbs that haven’t sprouted yet – you’re best to wait until the end of the summer.

They should be ready to bloom by the following spring.

But if you’ve bought bulbs ‘in the green’ – bulbs that have already produced green stems – you can start a lot earlier.

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Bulbs in the green can be planted from as early as April, and they should be established before the start of the summer.

You should plant your bluebell bulbs at about a depth of 10cm, according to horticultural website Sarah Raven.

They should also be around 10cm apart from each other, so that they don’t become overcrowded.

If you’re deciding to plant dry bulbs in the autumn, you should pop them in the soil at about double the depth of the bulb itself.

Don’t forget to plant your bulbs with the pointy end facing the surface.

“Bluebells flower from late April to May, filling our woods with their incredible flowers and fragrance and providing nectar for moths, bees and butterflies,” said Sarah Raven.

“[They] can cope with most soils, but prefers a moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, so add plenty of well-rotted manure, leaf mould or garden compost to the soil prior to planting.

“Bluebells are woodland lovers so plant in partial shade, ideally below deciduous trees or shrubs.”

You should make sure to water the bulbs well after planting, and don’t be too disappointed if they don’t flower in the first year.

It’s not uncommon for the plant to only produce leaves after it’s been transplanted, as the bulb is still cementing its roots.

After the end of the season, you should keep all of the foliage in place – don’t be tempted to cut it back.

The leaves will continue to photosynthesise, which will strengthen the bulb for the following year.

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