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Blue bugloss might be hard to find in the garden center. Hop online to search out this easy-to-grow perennial with brilliant blue flowers. Closely related to borage, blue bugloss has airy bloom spikes in late spring. Wonderful for mass plantings, perennial borders, or an informal edging along a fence line, this clump-forming perennial will self-seed.
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Plant a Cottage Garden
Pair blue bugloss with other easy-to-grow perennials and annuals for a colorful, whimsical cottage garden. Great planting partners include salvia, hollyhock, false indigo, lilies, dahlias, bellflower, and coralbells. A cottage garden can be a roving landscape bed or a simple 5-foot by 5-foot plot next to a patio. Choose a location where you can enjoy the riot of blossoms and harvest cut flowers for bouquets.
Blue Bugloss Care Must-Knows
Blue bugloss is easy to grow in full sun and well-drained soil. Fast-draining soil is essential for good growth and is especially important for successful overwintering. This perennial grows well in deep, rich, fertile loam but tends to flop over easily in this soil type, so it may require staking. Keep blue bugloss standing tall by sinking a tall bamboo stake into the soil alongside the plant. Gently tie the flower spikes to the stake with garden twine.
Deadhead blue bugloss as soon as the first flowers fade in early summer. Deadheading encourages a second growth of buds. Deadheading also helps prevent unwanted seedlings. Count on blue bugloss to reseed with vigor, sometimes to an invasive degree. If foliage turns unsightly in summer, cut plants back to about 6 inches above ground level. This rejuvenation pruning will spur plants to develop fresh, new foliage.
More Varieties of Blue Bugloss
Anchusa azurea 'Dropmore'
This variety of Anchusa azurea has deep blue flowers and grows 3–4 feet tall. A floppy plant, it requires staking or a nearby plant to lean against, especially when it is in bloom. Also known as Italian bugloss, it blossoms best when it is deadheaded as soon as it finishes blooming. Zones 3-8.