Bluebell Bellflowers are one of North America’s iconic wildflowers for a reason: they are delicately stunning, especially when planted in groups. And their bloom time is incredible: June to September! They are also very easy to grow, thanks to their ability to thrive in a wide range of soils and sunlight. Plant them alongside other natives that are white or yellow to help their color shine. Scroll on for planting tips!
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Explore the history, types, and where to plant native Bluebell Bellflowers
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Bluebell Bellflowers are delightful flowers—native to a wide swath of North America (see below for a map)—that offer beauty and gardening ease, making them an ideal choice for beginner gardeners. Here’s your guide to growing Bluebell Bellflowers in your outdoor spaces:
What are the benefits of planting native Bluebell Bellflowers?
There are so many benefits to planting native plants like this one. Some benefits include:
- Super low maintenance: Bluebells need minimal care to thrive
- Comes back year after year: this is a perennial, or a plant that comes back year after year from the same roots. So plant once and enjoy for years!
- Easy to grow from seed: you can have a patch of Bluebells for under $5!
- Gorgeous flowers. Beauty matters! A gorgeous landscape with native flowers lifts spirits. Plant a patch of Bluebells and see for yourself.
The many names of Bluebell Bellflowers
While we’re calling it ‘Bluebell’ here, this plant has many common names. A common name is the name passed down through generations to refer to a particular plant. This plant also goes by Bluebell Bellflower, Bluebell Of Scotland, Harebell, Common Harebell, Lady’s Thimble, Witches’ Thimble, and Witches’ Bells.
All these common names make the singular Latin name so helpful! Look for the Latin name Campanula rotundifolia to ensure you’ve found this plant.
Is Bluebell Bellflower the same as Virginia Bluebells?
No. Bluebell Bellflower and Virginia Bluebell are two different plants. (I know, so confusing!) These pictures help explain the differences.
Worried about getting these mixed up?
We hear you—it is confusing. To make sure you’re looking at Bluebell Bellflower, using the Latin name is your best bet. If you’re looking for Bluebell Bellflower, ensure the plant tag says Campanula Rotundifolia.
What are good places to plant Bluebell Bellflower?
Bluebell Bellflowers are great in the following landscaping spots:
- Edges of lawns
- Underneath trees and shrubs
- Garden borders
- Mixed in with other flowers (especially white and yellow ones)
Where are Bluebell Bellflowers native?
It’s hard to find a plant that has a larger range! You can find Bluebell Bellflowers from Alaska to North Carolina. Almost everyone in North America can happily plant this native flower.
Bluebell Bellflower has such a huge range because it’s a “circumpolar” native species, or a plant that grows around the world in the Northern Hemisphere (source.) You’ll also find Bluebells in Scotland, Finland, etc.
What are good pairings for Bluebell Bellflower?
Bluebell Bellflowers are best paired with other native perennials that like the same conditions but flower at different times. This ensures your garden always has something in bloom and the pollinators always have something to eat. They also look great alongside white and yellow natives—the blue + yellow + white combo makes Bluebells pop in the garden.
Great pairings include springtime flowers like False Blue Indigo and Golden Alexander; summer favorites are Culver’s Root, coneflowers, coreopsis, and Joe-Pye Weed; and fall-time bloomers like native asters and goldenrods.
Native flowers for the spring
Native flowers for the summer
Native flowers for the fall
Feeling a little overwhelmed picking native plants?
Gardening should be fun and not feel like a botany exam. If you’re feeling overwhelmed as you plan your native garden, check out our inspiration guides! They are all written to help get you gardening (and not worrying.)
Remember: native plants plant themselves. If they can do it, so can we.
In conclusion, Bluebell Bellflowers are gorgeous native flowers that look best planted in groups to let their delicate beauty shine. They are so easy to plant and come back year after year. Because they are native, they don’t need any fussy fertilizers or irrigation systems—after the first year of getting established, they are happy with just rain. Bluebells are perfect for almost anyone’s garden in North America—from the Northwest to the Northeast. Plant a patch and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram so we can join the ‘like’ party. Happy planting!
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Bluebells
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Native Perennials: North American Beauties. (1996), 70.
- Nelson, Gil. Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens: A Handbook for Gardeners, Homeowners, and Professionals, (2010).
- Harstad, Carolyn. Go Native! Gardening with Native Plants and Wildflowers in the Lower Midwest. (1999), 209-210.