How To Grow and Save Seed of Bells of Ireland

Latin name Molucella lamiaceae, Bells of Ireland is an annual in the mint family. Native to the Mediterranean and northwest India.

 

 

HISTORY

Bells of Ireland were mistakenly thought to have come from an archipelago of Indonesian islands called the Moluccas, hence the Latin name Molucella lamiaceae. Introduced to Europe in the 1500s from Syria. It is evidenced that Bells of Ireland was grown in Belgium for making perfume.

 

USES 

  • Ornamental.
  • Beds, borders, cottage garden, cutting garden.
  • Makes an excellent filler for floral design.

 

SEED STARTING

  • Seeds germinate in 14-21 days.
  • Start seeds 4-6 weeks before last frost date.
  • Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep.
  • Can be direct sown or started indoors.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 60-65 degrees F.
  • Seeds can be sown in place in fall.

 

GROWING

  • Plants prefer full sun to part shade and well-drained soil.
  • Space plants 12 inches apart.
  • Tall plants benefit from being staked to keep spikes straight.
  • Provide consistent moisture; plants are not particularly drought tolerant.
  • Provide a balanced organic fertilizer monthly.

 

PESTS/SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Bells of Ireland is a fairly pest-free plant.
  • Deer do not bother this plant.

 

SEED SAVING

  • Plants easily self-sow.
  • Seeds are easy to save; the small, understated blooms will turn brown and the seeds can easily be harvested in fall.
  • When germinating saved seeds, be sure to stratify seeds by placing them in a plastic bag and storing them in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

 

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