Plant Profile: Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginiana) are a native plant to the Mid-Atlantic USA.

They thrive in deciduous shade and moist soil. If happy in a location, they will readily self-seed and form a nice colony in a few years. You can collect the seeds and scatter them as you like. You can also dig and divide them to spread them about.

Enjoy them while they are in season. You can see them in bloom en masse in early to mid-April in publicly accessible locations all around the Washington, DC region. Here is a link to our list of local Bluebell viewing hot spots:

Because they are ephemeral, in your own garden you will want to plant a companion that comes up as the Virginia Bluebells are fading -- like Ferns, Hostas, and Astilbes.

And surprise! Despite the name, not all Virginia Bluebells are blue – some are pink or white!

Virginia Bluebells need no real maintenance and are generally rabbit- and deer-proof.

Read more about Virginia Bluebells in the April 2015 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine (

Virginia Bluebells – you can grow that!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine and edited by intern Allison O'Reilly.

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All who are involved with You Can Grow That! (YCGT!) believe that plants and gardening enhance our quality of life. We want people to be successful with what they grow and to become more aware of the many gifts that horticulture brings. Find out more at
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