About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Molucella laevis (Bells of Ireland)

Bells of Ireland are popular with florists and you will often see them in bouquets at the market and also by the stem at flower shops. The easiest way to grow these is to sow them outside and then they will self-sow for you forever.

Bells of Ireland are very cool looking but are not the easiest thing grow and harvest. They must be staked or grown through support mesh of some kind or they fall over. When using support mesh or string you usually have to use two layers because the stems are fairly weak. You might luck out and get away with not staking other floppy flowers but not this one. Once it falls, the flower spike will quickly turn upward and will look silly if you try to prop it up after that, so figure out how you will support them early and keep an eye on them. The stems are a bit spiny – nothing like a rose bush, but picky enough that you want to be careful. The flower stalks themselves have leaves growing from them which must plucked one by one to achieve the perfect green spike like you see at the florist. These are not the easiest flower to grow but worth the effort for an unusual cut flower.

Green Bells of Ireland with pink and white lisianthus.

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