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Forget-Me-Not Flowers

Forget-me-not is valued for its attractive flowers. Although the blooms are usually blue, other colors do exist. A bonus feature is that the buds preceding the blooms are pink, so you get two colors for the price of one. A short plant (often just 5 inches at maturity) with a medium growth rate, forget-me-not has hairy stems. The five-petaled flowers grow in cymes with a single flower on a central stem surrounded by additional blooms on branching stems. Although small (3/8 inch), they provide a good color display because they’re numerous. Technically a short-lived perennial, most treat forget-me-not as a biennial, sowing seed in mid-summer and enjoying the blooms the following year. Due to the fact that this plant reseeds readily, it is considered to be invasive.

Care
Forget-me-not is a versatile plant. It’s tolerant of rabbits and deer, draws butterflies and can serve a variety of landscape functions. For example, it can be used in the yard as:

  • A ground cover
  • A potted plant for use on porches and patios
  • In cottage gardens
  • In woodland gardens
  • In rock gardens

However, since it does spread on its own, care should be taken to prevent self-seeding in areas where you want a carefully controlled garden. To accomplish this, deadhead spent blooms and any seed heads that form to stop unwanted spread.

WARNING
Because it reseeds readily, forget-me-not is invasive and considered a noxious weed in the Midwest, one of the U.S. regions where it has naturalized.

Light
At the southern end of its range, give forget-me-not afternoon shade. In the North, you have the option of growing it in full sun or partial shade. The more sunlight it receives, the more water it will need.

Soil
This plant grows best in rich, consistently moist, well-drained soil.

Water
Forget-me-not tolerates wet soil. At the very least, it needs to be grown in soil kept evenly moist.

Temperature & Humidity
With a range that covers six USDA zones, forget-me-not withstands both heat and cold well, However, due to its susceptibility to powdery mildew disease. It isn’t recommended for areas with intensely hot, humid summers.

Fertilizer
Fertilize forget-me-not with compost or with a general-purpose fertilizer annually.

Pruning
The key to its display value is massing several plants together and letting them get as big as possible, because the flowers, although pretty and numerous, are small. For this reason, there’s a disincentive to cutting back forget-me-not stems. However, if you wish to curtail reseeding, deadhead the flowers.

Overwintering
Forget-me-not is cold-hardy. Unless you’re trying to grow it north of zone 3, you don’t need to take measures to winterize it.

How to Get Forget-Me-Not to Bloom
Its flowers are only 3/8 inches across, but it produces lots of them. It blooms for several weeks during April and May.

For the longest blooming period and the most flowers, provide it with rich, consistently moist soil. Forget-me-not, as a biennial or short-lived, reseeding perennial, re-blooms annually with minimal care.

Common Problems
Garden pests leave forget-me-not alone. But it is susceptible to two diseases:

Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is that light-colored, powdery covering you see on a plant’s leaves. Seldom fatal, it does temporarily ruin the appearance of plants. Minimize it by avoiding overhead watering.

Rust
Rust produces pustules that later break open and release orange spores on the leaves’ undersides. But you’re more likely to notice the yellow spots it causes on the top part of the foliage. Like powdery mildew, it thrives in damp environments and is best prevented by avoiding getting foliage wet.

FAQ

  • How long can forget-me-not live?

    Forget-me-not dies back every year, but it self-seeds very well, so your patch of forget-me-not could last for decades with proper care.

  • Can forget-me-not grow indoors?

    Though it can grow indoors in containers, it doesn’t often lead to success. The plant needs the garden soil to thrive.

Information courtesy of TheSpruce.com

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