Bluebells: Pretty yet Invasive Flowering Bulbs

bluebells-flowerEnglish bluebells are here to stay. At least until we spend three years in a row digging them out. Spring time brings mixed emotions when it comes to bluebells. Their beautiful flowers are a rarely seen blue, brightly tinged with purple. And yet, unfortunately, they tend to take over garden beds. Furthermore, in England, they are a protected plant. But not here in Vancouver. Bluebells must join the list of imported plants that must never be introduced to our coastal rainforest gardens. (I will save my rant against English ivy for another day.)

bluebells-full-plantIn our experience, we feel it is best to remove bluebells at all costs. They take over in spring and smother out perennials trying to make their way into the garden. Bluebells also replicate themselves at an alarming rate and even seem to possess wily wits about them. We find them growing in cracks, tucking their bulbs under concrete ledges and curling their foliage outward to the garden so we can’t reach the bulbs. And then that bulb turns into a million other tiny bulbs. Plus, the flowers go to seed and send out an army of sentinels to destroy your perfect plantings. This leads me to the deeply satisfying part: how to dig them out.

Digging Out Bluebells

bluebells-bulbAll you need is a trowel. Loosen the soil around the bluebell, then dig deep and gently release the plant from the ground. Your goal is to remove the foliage with its white bulb attached at the other end. If the bulb stays in the ground, you’ll know where to dig next year.

We have successfully eradicated bluebells from some garden beds, and it took us three years, so you can too. That’s not to say that the ¬†occasional bulb doesn’t pop up come spring in that particular bed. But the garden we worked over for three years can now grow other plants, not just bluebells like it did before. And yes, you can call us to do it for you!

Click on the Contact Page to check if we are available to work in your neighbourhood.

About Jessica Salvador

Jessica has spent over ten years in the landscaping industry in nursery production, landscape maintenance and garden centre sales. She graduated in 2002 from the highly recognized horticulture program at Capilano University as a Certified Landscape Horticulturist. Higher Ground Gardens, your West Side Vancouver gardening and landscaping professionals for hedge trimming, pruning, bark mulch delivery, yard clean up, and on going gardening and landscaping maintenance. Gardening Vancouver, The Garden Pro's to call from Spring through Fall.
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