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Early Spring Flowering Bellis/ Myosotis/Ranunculus/ Erysimum
Bellis (English Daisy)
Grows Best In: Sun to Part Sun
Bellis species are mostly perennials, and grow from 5 to 20 cm tall. They have simple erect stems, and most species have basal leaves. Bellis radiate flower heads that are produced one per stem.
Start inside 8-10 weeks before planting outside. Sow seeds on the surface, providing light and temperatures around 21°C. Germination is in 2-3 weeks. Bellis will flower the first year if they are started in early spring. Sow directly outside from mid-summer to early autumn for flowering the following year. Plant outside after last frost in full sun to part shade, 6-12 inches apart. Keep bellis well watered so that they do not dry out. Mulch lightly after ground is frozen in fall and divide the plants after flowering every 3 years.
Myosotis (Forget Me Not)
Myosotis, more commonly known as the "Forget Me Not" is usually a blue flowering plant, with small bunches of blossoms.
Myosotis bloom in the spring time, so they're great to start your garden with, although they do tend to bloom a bit later than other spring plants.
Some may call these plants bi-annual, since they have a re-seeding once their blooms have finished, thus allowing for a continuous cycle of re-blooming.
Grows Best In: Shade to Part Shade
# of Varieties: 4
Growing Height: 12-16” depending on variety
Plant Spacing: 12"
Ranunculus are great spring plants that you’ll find early on in a garden centre. They love cool weather and can take frost very well. They have some height to their stalks, so they may be placed in the middle of planters and containers. Of course, they can also be planted in the garden.
Like Primulas, Ranunculus love the morning sun and tend more to the shade side during the day. Also provide them with rich organic soil and a lot of moisture.
Ranunculus come up with several stocks and have large double blossoms. We’ve seen some in our display garden at The Greenery who have had flowers as large as a tea plate, and some flowers have up to twelve to fifteen flowers per plant! They will keep shooting up stocks and throwing out more flowers over the season. Ranunculus are just spring bloomers, so their blooms will end late April and into early May.
One unique thing with this plant is that they’ll go what we call “summer dormant”. Some people may think, "My plant is dying!" but what it's actually doing is going into a kind of hibernation. The leaves will go yellow a little bit on the edges, which may look like the plant is dying. What it's actually doing is putting all of its energy back into the ground into these small little bulbs called “corms”.
These corms won’t survive harsh winters in the interior; they’re more naturally hardy for the coast instead. What you can do is dig those corms up, store them, and re-plant them the next year.
Ranunculus can be bought as bulb form and be planted that way. They may also be grown from seed, like we do at our garden centre.
The important part is to keep in mind that the plant is not dying on you. It is simply going dormant in the hotter parts of the year, and will come back when the cooler weather returns.
Erysimum, also known as Wallflower, produce small, colourful flowers in spring and summer. They grow best in dry soil. Ensure proper drainage for the plant as Wallflowers are susceptible to rot after flowering.