What we love about planting bells of Ireland
- Annual must-have for any flower garden
- Offers beautiful, green florets with tiny, white flowers
- Great for cut flower arrangements
- Fragrant, pollinator attractor
Cultivated since the 1500's, bells of Ireland is a summer flowering annual that is native to Turkey, Syria, and the Caucasus. More formally known as Moluccella laevis, bells of Ireland is actually a member of the mint family. Its popularity is due to its curious, tall spikes of flowers that represent luck. Tiny white flowers are surrounded by bright green calycesm which are persistent all over the stalk. Their longevity and beauty means bells of Ireland look absolutely gorgeous in a bouquet, cut flower arrangement, and of course, in the yard. They make wonderful dried flowers as well.
Bells of Ireland have long taproots that do not like to be disturbed. For this reason, it is advisable to direct sow them in the early spring when the ground is cool to the touch, but all threat of frost has passed. Select a location that receives full sun exposure (at least six hours a day), though they will tolerate partial shade (three to six hours a day). Soil should be rich, loamy, moist, and well-draining. Adding compost is a great way to enhance the soil. Bells of Ireland can also grow in average soil conditions, provided regular applications of fertilizer are employed. Sow the seeds directly onto the surface of the soil, and firmly compress. Be sure not to cover the seeds, as bells of Ireland require sunlight in order to germinate. Keep the seeds consistently moist during germination and vulnerable seedling stages. Germination typically will occur within approximately 21 to 25 days.
Once bells of Ireland have come up, thin them to a spacing of 12 inches apart. Protect plants from the wind, Taller growing stalks may benefit from staking. Water regularly and avoid planting in especially hot and humid environments. Bells of Ireland do not rebloom as they are annuals. However, they are prolific reseeders. If you prefer to prevent the spread of bells of Ireland, you may choose to cut them down as soon as the flowers are spent.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for bells of Ireland, see our Bells of Ireland Seeds Planting Guide.