Bringing Blue to Your Garden with Bulbs
Posted by Brent & Becky's Admin on
One of the rarest colors found in the gardening world, blue flowers are a marvel to behold. Blue is a pure, vibrant, and relaxing tone that calms the mind and adds a cool sense of depth to our landscapes. Plus, it’s the perfect contrast to the sunny and warm hues that abound. If you’re looking to bring some blue to your garden this season, here are some of the bulbs to look at:
Also known as African Lilies, Agapanthus offers gorgeous globes of long, tubular blooms that are absolute stunners from mid-spring to early fall. While most of these spring-planted bulbs are only hardy to zone 7, you can find hardier varieties that can tough it out as low as zone 5, but they’ll need at least one full season to settle in. Plant them in full sun to part shade for best performance. Blue varieties to consider: Blue Yonder, Headbourne Hybrids, and Stevie’s Wonder (which at the time of posting this blog are 50% off while inventory lasts!).
For a late spring rush of beautiful, blue blooms, look no further than alliums. Also known as Ornamental Onions, the only tears these plants will produce are happy ones as you bask in their vibrant globe-shaped clusters of fabulous flowers. They are hardy to zone 5 and should be planted in fall in full sun for best performance. Consider Caeruleum and Caesium Zamin for the best blue color.
If you’re looking for a daisy-like flower with plenty of blues to go around, you’ll find it with Anemone, also known as Grecian Windflowers. Anemones can be confusing: spring and early summer Anemone blanda or Anemone coronaria grow from corms, while fall-blooming Anemone canadensis and Anemone sylvestris are herbaceous perennials but don’t offer blue flowers. With plenty of varieties to choose from, though, you can find these blooms as hardy as zone 3, with both spring and fall planting times to enjoy their color in spring or summer! Plant anemones in full sun to part shade for best performance. Try these blues: Blue Shades, Lord Lieutenant, and Mr. Fokker.
The long-petalled, star-shaped flowers of Camassia dazzle on long plumes. They are hardy to zone 3, making them a great choice for gardens to the north, and they’re an excellent choice for those wetter, more boggy spots in your landscape. Plant them in full sun to part shade in fall and enjoy their performance in late spring. For icy blue flowers, take a look at the Cusickii variety. For deeper shades of royal blue, take a look at Blue Danube.
Also known as Glory of the Snow, Chionodoxa offers small, star-shaped flowers that are excellently suited for rock gardens. Natural cold-lovers, they are hardy to zone 3 and grow in full sun to part shade. Plant them in fall and enjoy their blooms as early as late winter! Blue hues to consider: Forbesii, Blue Giant, and Sardensis.
Few garden flowers are as dazzling as hyacinths, with their plumes of closely-knit blooms that almost create the appearance of just one, large flower head. They may look tropical, but they are pretty hardy at zone 4! Plus, they offer a sweet fragrance that is hard to beat. Plant them in fall in full sun to part shade and enjoy their flowers in early to mid spring. Check out Blue Tango, Blue Jacket, and Delft Blue.
Ipheion truly earns its nickname, Star Flower, with stunning, star-shaped blooms with six perfectly sized petals. Though they may have a sweet fragrance in the garden, if you crush their foliage, you’ll suddenly wonder where that garlic smell is coming from. Hardy to zone 5, they are great for borders and enjoy full sun and fall planting for early spring blooming. Try the Jessie, Rolf Fiedler, and Wisley Blue varieties for blue color.
Irises are iconic for their fanning petals that delicately drape backward, and we love how long they last when cut! They’re also iconic for their rainbow of color options, including brilliant blues. You can find them in both Dutch varieties, like Silvery Beauty, and the hardier and earlier blooming Dwarf varieties, like Katharine Hodgkin, Carolina, Harmony, and Rhapsody. Both prefer full sun.
Muscari is also known as Grape Hyacinths for their interesting plumes of clustered, round flowers that look just like grapes. They are a fantastic way to add a touch of something different to your landscape in early to late spring! When it comes to blues, there are many options to choose from in this genus. Take a look at some of our favorites: Armeniacum, Alida, Blue Spike, Blue Magic, Azureum, Baby’s Breath, Latifolium, Neglectum, and Valerie Finnis.
Other Blue Bulbs
Agastache: also known as Mexican Hyssop. Pretty plumes of soft, fragrant flowers beloved by pollinators. Look for Blue Fortune.
Crocus: cup-shaped flowers that grow early in the season when little else does. Look for Conquerer and Blue Pearl.
Scilla: star-shaped flowers on tall stems that naturalize quite easily. Look for: Siberica, Peruviana, and Mischtschenkoana.
Veronica: also known as Speedwell. Easy to grow and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Look for Marietta.
Hyacinthoides: also known as Bluebells. Drooping, bell-shaped blooms on tall spikes that are adaptable to a variety of conditions. Look for Excelsior.
Gladiolus: classic, tender plants with big, ruffled blooms on tall stems that flower from early summer to early fall. Look for Costa.
Now, some of these selections are planted in the spring, others in the fall, some are sold out, and others are ready and waiting for their new home. So, save this post so you can refer back to it at a time when things are available. And, while we still can’t find blue in many of our bulb favorites, like tulips, daffodils, or lilies, that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of blue garden flowers to discover. With these varieties and more, finding the perfect blue for your beds can be a breeze!
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