Brunnera Plants: How To Plant Brunnera Siberian Bugloss

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By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)

Blooming, growing brunnera is one of the prettiest plants to include in the shady garden. Commonly called false forget-me-not, petite blooms compliment attractive, glossy foliage. Brunnera Siberian bugloss is also called heartleaf brunnera because of the shape of its leaves. It is an herbaceous perennial, dying back in winter.

About Brunnera Plants

The light blue blooms of brunnera plants rise above the leaves of various cultivars. Brunnera plants have leaves that are glossy green or in variegated hues of gray, silver or white, such as the popular cultivar ‘Jack Frost.’ Brunnera Siberian bugloss blooms in early to mid spring.


When growing brunnera, locate the plant in part to full shade, in well-drained soil that can be kept consistently and lightly moist. Brunnera plants don’t do well in soil that dries out, neither will they flourish in soggy soil.

Plant care for Brunnera macrophylla will include watering to maintain soil moisture and providing good drainage to assure that roots of brunnera plants do not sit in soggy soil. Growing brunnera reaches 1 ½ feet in height and 2 feet across and grows in a small mound.

How to Plant Brunnera

Brunnera blooms may self-seed and readily sprout from seeds dropped the previous year. If so, dig small seedlings and replant into areas where more growing brunnera is desired. You may also collect seeds from brunnera plants and replant them or plant newly purchased seeds or small plants. Division of existing plants is another means of propagation.

The plant easily thrives in USDA Hardiness zones 3-8, when conditions are right. Brunnera plants prefer rich soil. When growing brunnera in the hottest zones, avoid planting where it gets hot afternoon sun. Brunnera, especially the ones with variegated leaves, are sensitive to sun and may burn.

Now that you’ve learned how to plant brunnera and a little about plant care for Brunnera macrophylla, try it in the shady garden or use it to help naturalize a wooded area. You’ll find this easy-care plant is an asset to any shady area.

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