How to Plant and Grow Forget-Me-Not

Historically, these small flowers were grown in remembrance of lost loved ones.

Forget-me-nots among the few plants that can boast a true blue color. The most commonly found forget-me-not is a sky-blue shade, but it also comes in pale purple, pink, and white. Forget-me-nots bloom in spring and summer in Zones 3-8 and work in informal garden borders and mixed containers.

The foliage is deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant and resembles rounded mouse ears. Forget-me-nots attract birds and butterflies to your yard.

Forget-Me-Not Overview

Genus Name Myosotis
Common Name Forget-Me-Not
Plant Type Perennial
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 4 to 12 inches
Width 8 to 12 inches
Flower Color Blue, Pink, White, Yellow
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Drought Tolerant, Groundcover, Slope/Erosion Control

Where to Plant Forget-Me-Not

Forget-me-nots are prolific self-sowers and require consistent deadheading, so plant them where you won't mind if they spread a bit. Forget-me-nots form dense mats of foliage by producing above-ground runners. They work in all types of gardens, including cottage-style, woodland, and rock gardens.

Invasive Plant

The true forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) is listed by the U.S. Forest Service as having aggressive invasive tendencies in North America. It is on the Invasive Plant List of Connecticut and Wisconsin.

How and When to Plant Forget-Me-Not

Forget-me-nots are grown from seeds. Sow seeds in midsummer and keep the soil mildly moist. In fall, seedlings will appear and flowers will bloom in spring.

Forget-Me-Not Care Tips

Forget-me-nots are easy-to-grow plants requiring little maintenance. Commonly grown from seed, forget-me-nots are often treated as biennials or short-lived perennials. Seeds can be sown directly in the garden in the summer or early fall for early-spring blooms. Forget-me-nots can be grown in containers also.


Forget-me-nots prefer full sun, but where the summers are hot, they're better placed where they get some afternoon shade.

Soil and Water

Forget-me-nots prefer consistently moist soil and will tolerate wet soil. Some species can actually grow in standing water and perform well as marginal water plants. The soil should be well-drained.

Temperature and Humidity

Forget-me-nots grow in a range of temperatures, which is indicated by their wide hardiness zone range. However, high heat and humidity are not good for these plants. One of the biggest killers of forget-me-nots is summer heat and humidity. In the South especially, summers tend to kill off these plants. In this case, treat forget-me-nots as cool-season annuals or look for heat-tolerant varieties and species.


The only fertilizer forget-me-nots need is an annual application in spring of a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 formulation. Follow the product directions for quantity.


The only reason to prune forget-me-nots is to control reseeding. They look best when massed in a large group of plants.

Potting and Repotting Forget-Me-Not

Forget-me-nots aren't usually planted in pots since they're often used as ground cover, but they can be grown that way. Use a pot with good drainage and well-draining soil. Leave space between them for growth. Water frequently enough to keep the soil moist. Pinch off fading blooms to encourage new growth. Keep them in a cool area with some sun that doesn't get too hot.

Pests and Problems

The most common problem with forget-me-nots is powdery mildew. Avoid this unsightly issue by watering under the leaves and not over them. Another problem for them is rust, which you'll recognize by the orange spots it leaves on the underside of leaves. Keep leaves dry when possible to avoid either of these things. Some garden pests, such as aphids, can be bothersome.

How to Propagate Forget-Me-Not

Annual forget-me-nots will reseed, so there's no need to propagate them. Perennial varieties can be divided and replanted to encourage more blooms if they begin to diminish.

Types of Forget-Me-Not

As you would imagine, this plant has many historical references and meanings tied closely to its name. Forget-me-not was commonly grown in gardens to remember lost loved ones. Other times, people would wear sprays of these delicate blossoms as a sign of their faithfulness to a loved one. The flower has also been taken as a sign of remembrance for fallen soldiers in wars and other significant events.

The curving stalks supporting the blooms give forget-me-nots one of their common names: scorpion grass.

Woodland Forget-Me-Not

Woodland Forget-Me-Not

Myosotis sylvatica blooms with clusters of fragrant, clear blue or white flowers with yellow eyes in early spring. Its hairy leaves may reach 4 inches long. Zones 5-9

'Victoria Rose' Forget-Me-Not

'Victoria Rose' Forget-Me-Not
Laurie Black

Myosotis sylvatica 'Victoria Rose' blooms earlier than some other varieties with small yellow-eyed pink flowers over 4-inch plants. Zones 5-9

Forget-Me-Not Companion Plants

Wild Ginger

wild ginger ground cover plant
Julie Mikos

Wild ginger is a workhorse of a groundcover, spreading readily with glossy, slightly heart-shaped leaves. It must have shade and moist but well-drained soil to thrive. In spring, it bears purplish-maroon bell-shape blooms mostly hidden in the foliage. Zones 3-8


Close up of purple and white Columbine
Mike Jensen

Perfect for cottage and woodland gardens, old-fashioned columbines are available in almost every color of the rainbow. Columbine thrives in sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. Plants are short-lived but self-seed readily, often creating natural hybrids with other nearby columbines. If you want to prevent self-seeding, deadhead plants after bloom. Zones 3-9

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
Peter Krumhardt

The origin of bleeding heart's common name is from its heart-shaped pink or white blooms. They grow best in partial to full shade in moist, well-drained soil. Some types bloom only in spring, and others bloom in spring, summer, and fall, provided temperatures aren't too high. Zones 3-9


Euph Chameleon and Yellow Corydalis
Stephen Cridland

It's hard to find bright color for shade, but brightly colored corydalis is a good choice. It's an outstanding shade plant. Blooms are small, but they appear in clusters. Leaves look similar to those of fringe-leaf bleeding heart. Plants self-seed readily, but excess seedlings are easy to remove. Provide the plant with moist, organic soil for best growth. Zones 5-7

Garden Plans for Forget-Me-Not

Small-Space Spring Garden

Illustration of purple irises in two color flower bed
Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Thanks to this garden plan, you don't need a lot of space to create a great springtime display.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where does forget-me-not get its name?

    Legend says that a knight and lady were strolling by the Danube river, and when she saw a blue flower floating in the water, the knight jumped in to get it for her. He was swept away by the current. He called out to her, “Vergiss mein nicht,” which means forget-me-not.

  • When is National Forget-Me-Not Day and how do I celebrate it?

    National Forget-Me-Not Day is celebrated each year on November 10th. Initially, it honored World War I veterans who suffered physical losses in battle. Forget-me-not flowers were sold to raise money for those wounded veterans. In time, the forget-me-not flowers came to symbolize a loved one's memory, and they are still sold as fundraisers. Honor your war veterans by buying the pretty blue flowers or give a bouquet of them to a disabled vet.

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