- The Forget Me Not Flower: Its Meanings & Symbolism
- Etymological Meaning of the Forget Me Not Flower
- Symbolism of the Forget Me Not Flower
- The Forget Me Not Flower Facts
- The Promise Ring – Forget Me Lyrics
- Your Guide to Forget-Me-Nots
- How to Plant
- Growing Conditions
- Pruning Tips & Plant Care
- Popular Varieties
- Flower Colors
- Growing Requirements for Forget-Me-Not
- Taking Care of Forget-Me-Not
- History of Forget-Me-Nots
- Common Questions and Answers About Forget-Me-Not
- Are forget-me-nots deer resistant?
- Are forget-me-nots invasive?
- Are forget-me-nots poisonous to dogs, cats, or humans?
- Can forget-me-nots be grown in pots?
- Can you split forget-me-nots?
- Do forget-me-nots attract butterflies?
- Do forget-me-nots come back every year?
- Do forget-me-nots like sun or shade?
- Do forget-me-nots need full sun?
- How do you harvest forget-me-not seeds?
- How long does it take for forget-me-nots to grow?
- How often do you water forget-me-nots?
- How tall do forget-me-nots grow?
- What colors do forget-me-nots come in?
- What time of year do forget-me-nots bloom?
- More Information on Forget-Me-Not
- Forget Me Not
The Forget Me Not Flower: Its Meanings & Symbolism
Etymological Meaning of the Forget Me Not Flower
All of the hundreds of flowers in the Myosotis genus can be called Forget Me Nots. This unusual Greek name means mouse’s ear, which is a pretty literal description of the shape of the flower’s small petals. The descriptive name first came from the German term Vergissmeinnicht. Most stories and myths involving this flower took place in Germany and the surrounding countries, but an English name was in use by the beginning of the 1400 century in the rest of Europe. Despite translation challenges, most other countries use a similar name or phrase to describe the same flower.
Symbolism of the Forget Me Not Flower
Since the Germans coined the most common name used for this flower, it’s natural that there’s a myth of two lovers walking along the Danube River first seeing the bright blue blossoms. The man retrieved the flowers for the woman, but he was swept away by the river and told her not to forget him as he floated away. Whether the story is true or not, it’s certainly made the Forget Me Not a lasting symbol of remembrance. It’s also been adopted as a symbol by the Freemasons who faced persecution for their beliefs, and represents the Armenian Genocide that started in 1915. The Alzheimer’s Society uses it as an icon to raise awareness for the disease and support for caretakers. While the Forget Me Not has played a big role in Europe and America over the last few hundred years, it’s still relatively rarely used in other cultures.
The Forget Me Not Flower Facts
Each variety in the Forget Me Not family produces slightly different flowers, but the main type used for bouquets and flower beds produces small blue flowers with five petals. Careful breeding has produced pink, purple, and white varieties, although they are not as commonly available from florists and nurseries as the classic blue variety. Most types prefer dry conditions and light sandy soils, yet there are varieties that can thrive in any kind of garden or yard.
Forget-me-not refers to the plants of the genus Myosotis. This genus comes under the family Boraginaceae. There are roughly 50 species within this genus. There exists variation within the genus. However, one similarity that can be noticed is that most of the members of this species have flat blue flowers with five petals growing thickly on stems. They grow in a slightly disorderly fashion.
A legend about the origin of the name forget-me-not is as follows. Once a medieval knight and his lady-love were walking beside a river. The knight held a bouquet in his hands. Because of the weight of the armor, he fell into the water. According to the legend, he threw the bouquet at her shouting forget-me-not. There is a Christian religious legend according to which the child Jesus Christ created forget-me-nots so that the generations to come would be able to see him and his mother Mary, on whose lap he was sitting.
Kingdom Plantae Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Order not currently assigned (incertae sedis) Family Boraginaceae Genus Myosotis
Facts about forget-me-not
- Forget-me-nots flower in spring.
- A large number of species that come under the forget-me-not category are native to New Zealand.
- A few European Species were introduced in the temperate regions of America, Asia, and Europe.
- Forget-me-not is the state flower of the American state of Alaska.
- Forget me not plants can be annual, in the sense that their life last for one year or it can be perennial, in the sense that their life – namely, germination, flowering, and death take more than two years.
How to Grow Forget-Me-Not
- Plant the seeds in early spring. The ground should be made ready for the forget me not seeds to be planted.
- The preparation should be done by mixing the soil with decomposed organic material (compost) because the plants grow best in such soil.
- While planting seedlings, you do not have to be particularly careful about maintaining some distance between them because forget me nots grow well even if there is a crowd.
- Trim the blooms that are wasted away in order to guard against reseeding.
- When plants begin to wear away in late summer, remove them.
The Promise Ring – Forget Me Lyrics
All trees are oaks
And all birds are blue
In the mountains of a magnet
Are the mountains of you
I’m proud of my genius just like a painter
and dumb like a poet I think I can, I think I can
Just say it, From the throats, From the throats of our wrists
With full sets of teeth, Vanilla almond teeth
From vanilla almond tea
Spent afternoons, Spent afternoons, Measuring time in spoons
Where forget-me-nots and marigolds and other things
That don’t get old, Just don’t get old
But between one June and September you’re all I rememember
But I’m a lantern, my head a moon
I married a room. I married a room
All trees are oaks
And all birds are blue
Well I do
What’s 80 miles in Canada or 18 years in mountain time, time
A southern run for a late longing to drink
All trees are oaks and all birds are blue, Well I do
All trees are oaks and all birds are blue, I do
I thought everyone was you
Where forget-me-nots and marigolds and other things
That don’t get old, Just don’t get old
Between one June and September
You’re all I remember
But I’m a lantern, My head a moon
I married a room I married a room
Forget me not’s and marigolds
And other things that do’t get old
(Forget-me-nots and marigolds)
But between one June and september you’re all I remember
(Forget-me-nots and marigolds)
I’m a lantern, My head a moon. I married a room.
(Forget-me-nots and marigold)
Where I’ll keep my hands in order
And what about the air, The air lying awake
And what about the air, The air, lying awake.
What about about the air, The air, lying awake.
Your Guide to Forget-Me-Nots
In appearance, there’s little difference between annual and perennial forget-me-nots (Myosotis). Both forget-me-not plants have bright green, lance-shaped leaves to about 4 inches long—hairy in annual M. sylvatica, glossy in perennial M. scorpiodes. And both bear elongated, curving clusters of 1/4- to 1/3-inch-wide, sparkling sky blue forget-me-not flowers. At bloom time, the blossoms form a cerulean cloud in lightly shaded and woodland plantings. M. sylvatica in particular is a favorite choice for underplanting spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils and tulips.
How to Plant
To increase plantings of M. scorpiodes, divide clumps in early spring. Grow M. sylvatica from seed; it self-sows prolifically, so one planting can be a lifetime investment. Where winter lows hit 0°F or below, sow outdoors several weeks before the last frost date; or sow indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date. In milder areas, sow forget-me-not plant seeds in fall for spring bloom (plant may overwinter to bloom a second year).
As long as you can give them organically enriched soil, regular to ample water, and partial shade, forget-me-nots offer no challenges. They’ll even thrive in the always-moist soil beside a stream or pond. Both annuals and perennial species look and perform best in cool weather and where summers are not excessively hot.
Pruning Tips & Plant Care
Spread several inches of mulch around forget-me-nots, which thrive in damp soil.
Snip spent forget-me-not flowers to encourage more blossoming.
Annual M. sylvatica reaches up to 1 foot high and spreads as wide as 2 feet. Its yellow-eyed blossoms appear in winter or early spring, depending on the severity of the winter, and continue to bloom as long as weather remains cool to mild. Varieties include ‘Rosylva’, with pure pink flowers on a more compact plant; ‘Blue Ball’, which 6-inch, almost spherical plants well suited to containers; and the Victoria series, featuring blue, pink, and white blossoms.
Perennial M. scorpiodes generally remains under a foot high but reaches 2 feet or more across, spreading by creeping roots. The blue springtime flowers typically have a yellow eye, though white-and pink-eyed forms exist. Named cultivars in white and various blue shades have been catalogued, but except for the long-blooming ‘Mermaid’, they are not in general circulation.
Forget-me-not flowers come in shades of blue, pink, and white.
Forget-Me-Not is flowering plant in the genus of Myosotis which has about fifty different species. Blooming in spring, these flowers are very small, about one centimeter in diameter. The flowers have five lobes that can be blue, pink or white and have yellow centers. However, a blue colored flower is the most common variation of the plant. Forget-Me-Nots are extremely popular in gardens and in the wild they grow to five to twelve inches tall.
Growing Requirements for Forget-Me-Not
In order to grow Forget-Me-Not flowers, one should prepare the soil by mixing in compost before placing the seed in. The seeds should be planted in early spring so that the flowers will bloom on time later in the season. Distance between the seeds does not normally matter because Forget-Me-Nots are not sensitive to crowds.
The seeds should be watered often in order to be kept moist. Forget-Me-Nots are normally found on river banks in the wild and grow the best in moist environments. The plants can tolerate only partial sun and shade, therefore they should not be planted where they are subjected to intense sunlight. They grow the best under trees, around tall shrubs, and in rock gardens with some shade.
Taking Care of Forget-Me-Not
Most of the flowers only last for one season and when they begin to wilt in late summer they should be removed in order to allow for replanting the next year. Forget-Me-Nots need to have wilted flowers trimmed because the plant will drop new seeds in order to maintain the population. This reseeding could prove problematic because while the flowers are not sensitive to crowding, the resources available can be stressed.
Forget-Me-Nots should be watered regularly. One should take special care when weeding around seedlings as they can be fragile and easy to destroy or dig up.
History of Forget-Me-Nots
Forget-Me-Nots have various legends and folklore surrounding them in many cultures around the world. The flowers are native to New Zealand but have escaped gardens from which they were introduced and into the wild. One popular legend states the flowers were named when a 15th-century knight fell into a river as he went to pick a bunch of flowers for his lover. As he was drowning in the water he threw the flowers to the woman and shouted, “Forget me not.” Today the flower is a symbol of a woman’s faithfulness and love. According to Christian lore however, the flowers originated when the child Jesus Christ created them in remembrance of Mary’s eyes.
The flowers are also very prominent in literature. They appear in poems, epics, and novels from many famous authors such as Henry David Thoreau and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Common Questions and Answers About Forget-Me-Not
Both annual and perennial varieties of forget-me-nots can be found as species under the botanical genera Myosotis. Whether your forget-me-nots will grow as annuals or perennials depends on which variety of the plant you have.
Are forget-me-nots deer resistant?
Yes, forget-me-nots are deer resistant.
Are forget-me-nots invasive?
Yes, forget-me-nots are invasive. You can control their spread by pulling up the plants and their roots, then hoeing the soil, before the forget-me-nots have gone to seed. Forget-me-nots spread by means of both their seeds and the stolons, which take root at leaf nodes similar to strawberry plants. Be sure to remove every last bit of the roots as well as completing this task before the plants reseed themselves in order to control their spread effectively.
Are forget-me-nots poisonous to dogs, cats, or humans?
Forget-me-nots are not poisonous to humans or to pets. In fact, when pesticides are not used, the flowers are edible.
Can forget-me-nots be grown in pots?
Yes, forget-me-nots can be grown in containers both indoors and outdoors. Forget-me-nots need plenty of air circulation to thrive, so plant each in its own individual 12-inch container with drainage holes. Plant them with a light, standard potting soil that stays moist but drains well, and find a spot for them that gets full or partial sunlight, such as the windowsill of a south- or east-facing window.
Can you split forget-me-nots?
Perennial forget-me-nots can be divided, while there’s really no reason to divide annual varieties because they propagate themselves through reseeding. If your forget-me-nots have come back up after previous winter seasons, they’re perennials that can be divided. The perennials also have glossy leaves, while the leaves of the annual varieties have a hairy texture. Splitting up clumps of forget-me-nots helps the plants to develop stronger stems and prevents center die out. In early spring, turn up your forget-me-nots by digging around the root zone. Divide the plant into sections by hand, making sure each section has plenty of well-developed roots and several healthy stems.
Do forget-me-nots attract butterflies?
Forget-me-nots come with the benefit of attracting pollinators to the garden, including butterflies. It’s a source of early nectar for them from late March on through the rest of the blooming season.
Do forget-me-nots come back every year?
Perennial varieties of forget-me-not do come back in the spring, sprouting from the roots underground to create new growth. They live for multiple seasons and also propagate themselves by reseeding and via the spread of roots to create new plants next to the original plants. However, there are biennial (two-year) and annual varieties of forget-me-nots as well, which do not come back every year. The perennial varieties have glossy, smooth leaves, whereas the other species of forget-me-nots have foliage with a hairy texture.
Do forget-me-nots like sun or shade?
Forget-me-nots can be grown in locations that range from full sun to partial shade.
Do forget-me-nots need full sun?
Forget-me-nots can either be grown in full sun or in part sun/part shade.
How do you harvest forget-me-not seeds?
If you’re growing forget-me-nots, you’re not likely to have a lot of reason to collect the seeds. Forget-me-nots reseed themselves and also spread via underground roots, so they don’t need help from the gardener. However, you may want to plant forget-me-nots in a new area of your garden or share the seeds with a friend. In those cases, you can spread newspapers underneath your forget-me-not plants once they begin to turn brown. Once the newspapers are in place, begin pulling up stems of the forget-me-nots with your hands, then deposit the stems onto the newspapers. Shake the stems to get the flowerheads to drop the shiny black seeds onto the newspapers. Then you can simply fold the newspapers and funnel the forget-me-not seeds into an appropriate container.
How long does it take for forget-me-nots to grow?
Forget-me-not seeds germinate eight to 14 days after they’re planted. After that, it takes about a year for forget-me-nots to grow to maturity and be able to flower.
How often do you water forget-me-nots?
Water forget-me-nots that are growing indoors when the top three inches of the soil they’re planted in is dry. You can check the moisture level by sticking a finger into the container where forget-me-nots are growing. If the soil sticks to your finger, it’s still moist. Hydrate deeply enough for the water to drip from the container’s drainage holes. Reduce this schedule during the dormancy period in winter to once or twice per month, going back to watering when the top three inches are dry in the spring. Forget-me-nots growing outdoors in dry locations may also need some help from the gardener when it comes to hydration. These plants love moisture, so never permit the soil to go completely dry.
How tall do forget-me-nots grow?
Forget-me-nots can reach two feet in height when cared for properly.
What colors do forget-me-nots come in?
Forget-me-not flowers come in shades of blue, yellow, pink, and white, with yellow or white centers. The blue variety is most common and the most popular with gardeners.
What time of year do forget-me-nots bloom?
When they are at least a year old, forget-me-nots flower after a period of rejuvenation in the spring that follows the wintertime dormancy.
More Information on Forget-Me-Not
Additional information about Forget-Me-Not can be found at the following websites:
Better Homes & Gardens covers Forget-Me-Nots
Gardening Know How covers Controlling Forget-Me-Nots
Gardening Know How covers Dividing Forget-Me-Nots
Gardening Know How covers Growing Forget-Me-Nots
SFGate Homeguides covers Colors of Forget-Me-Nots
SFGate Homeguides covers Are Forget-Me-Nots Poisonous?
SFGate Homeguides covers How to Grow Forget-Me-Nots Indoors
SFGate Homeguides covers Growing Stages of Forget-Me-Nots
SFGate Homeguides covers How Long For Forget-Me-Nots to Germinate
SFGate Homeguides covers Sun or Shade for Forget-Me-Nots
Hunker covers How Long do Forget-Me-Nots Bloom
Hunker covers How to Prune Forget-Me-Nots
Sunday Gardener covers Plants for Butterflies
Sunset covers Your Guide to Forget-Me-Nots
Swallowtail Garden Seeds covers Water Forget-Me-Nots
the flower expert covers Alaska State Flower
Learn about the Scientific Classification and Legend of Forget-Me-Not at The Flower Expert.
Find details on Forget-Me-Not growing conditions at Dave’s Garden.
Forget Me Not
In a Greek legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.” Another legend tells when the Creator thought he had finished giving the flowers their colors he heard one whisper “Forget me not!” There was nothing left but a very small amount of blue, but the forget-me-not was delighted to wear such a light blue shade
King Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and kept the symbol when he returned to England the following year.
In 15th-century Germany, it was believed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a bouquet of flowers, but because of the weight of his armor he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the bouquet to his loved one and shouted “forget me not.”
Forget-Me-Nots are easy to grow. The Latin name is Myosotis sylvatica. They will grow well in shady areas and give you a ton of flowers. They require very little attention from you once established. As with all your plantings, preparation of the soil is key. Incorporate rich compost into the soil such as Bumper Crop* along with some peat moss. This will provide a perfect soil foundation for new plants that can retain water and nutrients. To help in drought conditions use Espoma Bio-Tone* soil conditioner with beneficial mycorrhizae. This will help establish a large healthy root system. Make sure you keep them watered well. Follow up with a monthly feeding of Espoma Flower-Tone and don’t be shy to liquid feed them with Miracle-Gro*.
Mature height of Forget-Me-Nots is 6 to 12 inches. They flower in the spring and are perennial. The most popular color is the light blue with yellow center but they can also come in white and pink. They are drought tolerant and make a great ground cover. If you have an erosion problem this could be a perfect remedy as they can hold your soil in place. Plant them in garden beds, rock gardens, shade gardens or in containers.
Forget-me-Nots are an excellent symbol of love and friendship. Try one today.