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With strappy leaves and clusters of elegant lavender-blue flowers, Spanish bluebell blossoms dangle from spikes, adding a casual look to garden beds or borders. These pendant-style bells flourish under trees or shrubs or in shady borders, where early spring color is at a premium. Spanish bluebells have a loose, informal growth habit and more delicate appearance than their cousins, the hybrid hyacinths. Plant them in any well-drained soil and watch them take off.
Spanish bluebells tolerate shade, flourishing under trees or shrubs or in shady plantings alongside other spring-blooming bulbs. When they’re happy, these cheerful little bulbs can self-seed abundantly, forming large colonies in just a few years. They make delightful companions for early-blooming perennials and shrubs such as hellebore and azalea.
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Planting Spanish Bluebell
Because Spanish bluebells don't mind sun or part shade, you can plant them practically anywhere in your yard. Happily, there are many ways to use these easy-care plants.
Grow them in clumps at the base of deciduous shrubs such as rose of Sharon or roses to add color as the shrubs begin to leaf out in spring. Or mix them with spring-blooming perennials such as bleeding heart, hellebore, or lungwort to add interest and texture to garden beds and borders. Spanish bluebells look right at home in woodland gardens, too—and they're charming companions for ferns, columbines, and other shade-loving favorites.
Spanish Bluebell Care
Spanish bluebells are an easy-care spring-blooming bulb that does best in full sun (at least six hours of direct sun per day) or part shade. While they tolerate all-day shade, they don't tend to bloom as well. As the plants go dormant in early summer after they've leafed out, they're ideal for growing beneath deciduous trees like oaks and maples.
The best time to plant Spanish bluebells, like most other spring-blooming bulbs, is in early fall as soil temperatures begin to cool. These plants are not fussy about soil type, but they bloom best and spread fastest in a soil that's moist, well-drained, and rich in organic matter. Avoid soil that has a high clay content; in soggy soil they have a tendency to rot out and die over the summer.
After they finish flowering, the foliage will begin to go yellow and die off. You can trim back the foliage once this begins to happen, but avoid cutting it back while it's still green. The bulbs need their green spring leaves to gather energy for next year's bloom. Since Spanish bluebells go fully dormant by midsummer, growing them with plants that fill out over the summer helps prevent empty bare spots in your beds and borders.
Plant Spanish bluebell with daffodils as they bloom at the same time and like similar conditions. Yellow daffodils provide a stunning contrast to lavender-blue Spanish bluebell; white daffodils blend harmoniously. Or consider planting with pansies as they add an extra dose of charm to Spanish bluebells.