Forget me not planting

Choose Favorite Flowers for Your Zone

There is no one-plant-suits-all in gardening.

With each growing zone and climate, there are plants that thrive, and others that do not, either because they are too tender or aggressive.

Tender plants (when we attempt to grow them as perennials) demand too of our time and resources to help them along, and the aggressive ones invade, hogging natural resources.

You’ll know you have the right plants for a sustainable garden when they tolerate your growing conditions and require minimal or no care.

Know Your Zone & Get Local Advice

Wait! Before You Plant…

Always check first that plants are:

  1. Recommended for your growing zone.
  2. Not invasive in your area.
  3. Suit your growing conditions (sun, soil, water).
  4. Can cope with your specific location and weather conditions (e.g. high winds).

The first step is to know your gardening zone (for plant hardiness) and learn which plants are best for your growing conditions and climate. Invasive species (plants and animals) are huge problem these days and it is critical that gardeners are making safe choices that benefit the environment.

Growing zones are usually displayed on plant packages, tags, and seed packets to assist your buying decisions.

To learn more about local conservation authorities and endangered and invasive species, see Handy Online Resources for Gardeners.

You can find your plant hardiness zone here: United States Hardiness Zones | Canada Hardiness Zones

There are so many plants gardeners later deeply regret planting. Learn from their mistakes by doing your homework before planting or sowing. Never assume because a plant is sold at a local garden nursery that it is harmless to the environment. Plenty of invasive species are sold every day.

Plant Beneficial Plants

Fall in love! Once you know what is safe and beneficial to plant, explore your options, look over your neighbor’s garden—the one with awesome beauty!— and choose what you love.

For me, I love having a lot of wild things in my garden—insects, birds, bees, mammals, pollinators, things pollinators eat, and so on. The whole circle of life. So, I focus on the plants that attract, feed, and house them, in a cottage-style design. For me, that means creatively disheveled, densely-planted garden, with lots of colour, texture, and variety.

Got a patio or balcony?

You can sow seeds in containers just as you would in the ground, using good potting mix. When first frost is imminent, add some straw, burlap or other insulation on the surface of the soil to prevent the seeds from freezing or store the container in a cold (not below zero) garage until late early spring.

What is it? Forget-me-nots offer just the kind of froth every spring garden should provide, knitting over bare soil around spring bulbs and weaving a thread of sky blue through borders. They are vigorous self-seeders, and the most pretty of gatecrashers.

Any good varieties? Myosotis sylvatica ‘Wallufer Schnitt’ has particularly deep-blue flowers; there is a compact form called ‘Blue Ball’ and ‘Sylva’ offers pinks and whites.

Grow it with? The tried-and-tested plant recipe is forget-me-nots with tulips (I favour pink tulips like ‘China Pink’ and ‘Angélique’) and lime-green euphorbias. Too formal? Team with other natives, such as cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), honesty (Lunaria annua) and the male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas).

And where? They will do well in most soils in full sun or partial shade, although plants in hotter, drier spots are likely to fall prey to powdery mildew in summer.

Any drawbacks? By June you may itch to pull up at least half your plants to stop them taking over. Treat these biennials (which have a two-year lifecycle) as bedding and there will always be more.

What else does it do? Forget-me-nots make lovely cut flowers and are loved by bees and bee-flies.

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The Forget Me Not flower, by any other name would not be so sweet to gardeners, nor would the other numerous little blue forget me not flowers affectionately given the same name by their admirers.

But are forget-me-not plant perennials?

It does seem strange that through the years, both here and abroad, so many annuals and perennials have been called forget-me-nots indiscriminately.

True forget-me-not flowers have been prized by gardeners for generations.

What Do Forget Me Nots Look Like? Above image:

Perhaps the little blue flowers of the forget-me-not are cherished because they are reminiscent of gardens of the long ago childhood gardens, or those of a beloved mother or grandmother.

Forget-me-nots are water-loving plants, certainly not showy or striking; rather, their attraction is daintiness and exquisite, heavenly color.

These plants can be grown as annuals or perennials but in most climates, they typically perform as biennials.

Although the Forget-me-not flowers typically bloom very little during their first season of growth, they bloom profusely in their second spring.

These beautiful flowers continue to bloom from early spring until the first frost and remain dormant throughout the winter.

Forget-me-not plants make great flower gifts. You can buy them from florist flower shops. Others make use of online flower services to send their regards to mothers during mother day occasion.

Apart from serving as a Mother’s Day flower and florist item, forget me not flowers are also used as a funeral flower.

Plants usually reseed on their own if well maintained and reappear annually.

What Are Forget Me Nots?

Forget-me-nots are a group of about 50 species in the genus Myosotis (Mye-oh-soh-tiss) which is part of the Boraginacae family.

Most have racemes of small, flat, bright blue flowers (some varieties of white and pink), with five petals growing thickly on their stems.

Myosotis is a Greek name meaning “mouse-ear” and was given to the plant because of the shape of the small leaves. Both the annual and perennial are native to Eurasia.

The biennial variety, Myosotis sylvatica (sil-vat-ik-uh) stop flowering and set seed with the arrival of summer heat. Small Myosotis sylvatica seedlings appear unobtrusively in fall and bloom profusely on the following spring.

The biennial variety Myosotis scorpioides (skorp-ee-oyd-eez) thrives very well in boggy locations.

The perennial varieties do not put on as impressive flower show as their biennial cousins. However, they tend to flower for a longer season, usually starting from spring through summer.

Myosotis alpestris is the most popular and considered by many preferable to the perennial. This annual is dwarf, growing to 9″ inches, with pink, blue or white flowers.

The blooms of perennial Myosotis palustris are blue with yellow, pink or white centers. This type has narrow leaves and grows somewhat taller.

Where To Plant The Forget Me Not Flower, Selecting The Ideal Location

True forget-me-nots may be set out in spring or fall, or plants may be grown from seeds sown from early spring throughout summer.

Myosotis alpestris needs a sunny, well-drained location while the perennial Myosotis palustris, frequently called the “marsh” forget-me-not, prefers moist soil and a semi-shaded location.

These forget-me-nots are useful in planning a rock garden design, as a carpet around spring and summer flowering bulbs, and toward the foreground of borders.

The Forget-me-nots will do exceptionally well in an area that receives filtered to moderate shade with wet gravelly soil.

The natural habitat of wild Forget-me-not flowers is near stream and creek beds in several inches of water. Look for a location low and easy to keep wet.

NOTE: Although you may enjoy forge me not flowers, do not forget they are freely self-seeding and spread easily.

How To Grow Forget Me Nots Seeds

Forget-me-nots are freely self-seeding, making acquiring seed is easy. Before growing forget me nots, incorporate organic material like compost or manure into planting beds.

Sow seeds of Forget-me-not’s which take 8 to 14 days to germinate, directly into prepared flowerbeds after all danger of frost. Sow seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost if you want plants to bloom earlier.

When planting in outdoor flowerbeds, add mulch until the seeds starts to germinate. The mulch will help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

How To Plant Forget Me Nots: Propagating Established Plants

Forget-me-nots can easily be propagated by separating clumps of the established plants.

How To Care For Forget Me Not Plants

Keep Soil Moist – Forget-me-nots love moist soil. Never allow to dry out. Watering with a soaking hose or drip irrigation make the watering process simple.

Fertilizer Requirements – Apply slow releasing balanced all-purpose granular fertilizer at least once per season. Early spring is the ideal time. Avoid over fertilizing. Use the recommended application rate.

Pruning & Shaping Forget-Me-Not Plants – Generally, these plants are ground cover plants. Pruning and shaping can be difficult.

Control their growth by removing them in places where they are not supposed to extend and shape them into your desired landscape bed designs.

Controlling Pest and Diseases – overall diseases and insects are not too common. In some cases, aphids tend to affect new foliage growth. Control aphids naturally with applications of insecticidal soap sprays.

Keep an eye out for Flea beetles which often infest Forget me nots and puncture the leaves. Learn more in our article: How To Control Flea Beetles.

Forget-me-nots create offer a soft beauty to gardens. They are easy to maintain and do well when planted them in rich soil and kept well watered.

More Blue Plants:

  • How To Grow The “Blue” Plumbago Plant
  • Lobelia Plant Care
  • Caring For Blue Chinese Forget Me Not

Legends And History Of The Forget Me Nots Flowers

These tiny flowers have been cherished and remembered for generations. This can be attested to by the numerous legends regarding their origin.

These “legends” have persisted and been handed down in many different lands. One of the earliest and most delightful of these legends comes from Wales, an unusual source for such tales.

In that country in the mountains of Glamorgan, fairy gold was hidden so goes the story.

On the mountainside nearby grew a carpet of bluest forget-me-nots, dainty and ethereal.

Evil men heard rumors of the elfin gold and decided to steal it. They took no notice of the heavenly blue of the flowers close by.

As they were carrying off the treasure a sweet elfln voice spoke to them from one of the little blue flowers. “You have taken the least and left the best. Forget-me-not.”

The men paid no attention and were about to disappear with the loot, regardless. This angered the mountains and they shook their sides, swallowing up both men and gold.

The forget-me-nots, too, were covered for a time but soon thrust their way up and up to deck the mountain slopes once again covered them with blue. There they continue to grow and bloom.

Passers-by whose ears are attuned to the “little voices” hear them calling from the mountainside again and again, “Forget-me-not… Forget-me-not.”

Chinese Forget Me Not Seeds – Cynoglossum Amabile Flower Seed

Chinese Forget-Me-Not (Cynoglossum Amabile) – Sow some Cynoglossum Amabile seeds and enjoy this cheery little wild flower in your garden. Chinese Forget Me Nots have indigo-blue flower clusters on top of very erect stems and offer a nice contrast with the dark green leaves. This annual wild flower seed will grow quickly and bloom heavily. Chinese Forget-Me-Not plants will grow in sun or light shade in all regions of North America.

Cynoglossum Amabile seeds germinate best if they are evenly spread into loosened bare ground and kept moist. Plant Chinese Forget Me Not seeds in fall where winters are mild (seldom dipping below 10 degrees) or sow the flower seeds in early spring in colder climates after frost season has passed and night time temperatures are starting to stay warm. Cover the flower seeds lightly with a quarter inch or less of good, quality of soil, and keep the wild flower seeds moist.

Before long you will have a beautiful display of wildflowers. Chinese Forget-Me-Nots are liberal self-sowers. They will drop their own flower seeds and be back the following spring. If self-seeding is not wanted, cut back the plants to the ground after flowering or tear the plants out.

Forget-Me-Not Seed Planting: Best Time To Plant Forget-Me-Not Seeds

Forget-me-nots are one of those charming, old school flower specimens that provide cheery blue life to gardens that are just waking up from winter naps. These flowering plants prefer cool weather, moist soil and indirect light but they will sprout up practically anywhere with wild abandon. If you already have the plants in your landscape, planting forget-me-nots from seeds is rarely necessary. This is because they are rampant self-seeders. If you want to introduce the plants to new territory, know when to plant forget-me-nots to ensure success with these easy little plants.

When to Plant Forget-Me-Nots

Who doesn’t like forget-me-nots? True, they aren’t very attractive when they die back after blooming but, in the meantime, they have an uncomplicatedly endearing nature that is trouble free and easy. Forget-me-nots are very hardy little plants that will die back in winter but re-sprout in spring. Plants that are at least a year old will flower the next spring. These little blue bloomers are so unfussy you can plant them almost anywhere at any time and expect some flowers within the next year and a half.

Forget-me-nots are usually biennial, which means they flower and die in the second year. This is when they set

seed too, which they wantonly release everywhere. Once you have forget-me-nots in your garden, it is rarely necessary to plant seed. The little plants can be left to overwinter and then get moved to wherever you want them in early spring.

If you want to start some plants for the first time, seeding them is easy. The best time to plant forget-me-not seeds is in spring to August if you want to have blooms the following season. Early spring seeded plants may produce flowers by fall. If you are willing to wait a season for blooms, sow the seeds in fall. The plants will produce flowers a year from the next spring.

Tips on Forget-Me-Not Seed Planting

For proven success, site selection and soil amendment will get you off on the right foot when planting forget-me-nots. The quickest, healthiest plants will come from seeds planted in well worked soil, with superior drainage, and plenty of organic matter.

Pick a location with partial shade or at the very least, protection from the hottest rays of the day. You may also sow the seeds indoors three weeks before the last expected frost. This will give you earlier blooms. For outdoor sowing, plant seeds with 1/8 soil lightly sprinkled over them in early spring when soil is workable.

Seeds will germinate in 8 to 14 days if kept moderately moist. Thin to 10 inches apart to allow room for adult plants. Plant indoor sown forget-me-not outdoors after acclimating plants to outside conditions over the course of a few days.

Care of Forget-Me-Nots

Forget-me-nots like plenty of moisture but not boggy soil. They have few pest or disease issues but do tend to get powdery mildew at the end of their life. Plants need to experience a chilling period to force buds and large enough to produce flowers too, which is usually after a year of growth.

Once they have flowered, the entire plant will die. Leaves and stems dry out and generally get gray. If you want more flowers in that site, leave plants in place until fall to allow the seeds to sow themselves naturally. Once the little seeds have formed small plants, you can relocate them to other areas of the garden for enchanting notes of blue in low light areas.

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