Viper’s Bugloss Cultivation: Tips On Growing Viper’s Bugloss In Gardens

Viper's Bugloss (Echium Vulgare) perennial flower
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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Viper’s bugloss plant (Echium vulgare) is a nectar-rich wildflower with clusters of cheery, bright blue to rose-colored blooms that will attract hordes of happy honeybees to your garden. Viper’s bugloss flowers are suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. Want to learn more about how to grow viper’s bugloss? Keep reading for tips on growing this low-maintenance plant!

Viper’s Bugloss Cultivation

Growing viper’s bugloss is easy. Just plant the seeds directly in the garden after all frost danger has passed in spring and you’ll have blooms in a few short months. Plant a few seeds every couple of weeks if you want blooms all summer long. You can also plant seeds in autumn for spring blooms.

Viper’s bugloss thrives in full sun and nearly any dry, well-drained soil. Plant the seeds in a permanent location because viper’s bugloss has a long taproot that makes it extremely uncooperative when it comes to transplanting.

To plant viper’s bugloss, sprinkle the seeds lightly on the soil, and then cover them with a very thin layer of fine soil or sand. Water lightly and keep the soil slightly moist until the seeds germinate, which usually takes two to three weeks. Thin the seedlings to allow about 18 inches between each plant.

Caring for Your Growing Viper’s Bugloss

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Viper’s bugloss requires very little care, and once established, the plants need virtually no irrigation and no fertilizer. Deadhead wilted blooms regularly to encourage continued blooming. Be vigilant about removing blooms if you want to limit rampant self-seeding in your garden.

Is Viper’s Bugloss Invasive?

Yes! Viper’s bugloss is a non-native plant that originated in Europe. Before you plant viper’s bugloss flowers in your garden, it’s important to note that the viper’s bugloss plant can be invasive in certain areas and is considered a noxious weed in Washington and several other western states. Check with your local extension office to see if it’s okay to grow this plant in your location.

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