(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
Mulucca bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) add an interesting, upright touch to the colorful flower garden. If you grow a green-themed garden, bells of Ireland flowers will fit right in. Bells of Ireland facts indicate these flowers prefer dry and arid conditions, although they also perform well in cool summer conditions.
Bells of Ireland Flowers
While Mulucca bells of Ireland is native to the eastern Mediterranean region, the greenish blooms lead to their common name, having nothing to do with their place of origin. Bells of Ireland flowers are sometimes called shellflowers. Cold climate gardeners as far north as USDA Hardiness Zone 2 can grow bells of Ireland for summer blooms.
Bells of Ireland facts indicate the plant may reach 2 to 3 feet in height. Foliage is an attractive green, as is the flower calyx (base). The actual blooms are small and white, offering an overall green appearance. Multiple stems arise, offering an abundance of blooms on each plant.
Bells of Ireland Facts
Bells of Ireland flowers are annual plants. Grow bells of Ireland in warm climates for plants that readily reseed. In areas with cold winters, start seeds of bells of Ireland flower indoors a few weeks before outdoor temperatures warm, or you can broadcast seeds outside late in spring, when conditions have warmed substantially. Those in warmer areas can plant seeds outside in fall.
To start indoors, plant in seed trays early for the longest bloom time of bells of Ireland flowers. Plant seedlings outside when temperatures have warmed above nighttime frost levels.
Bells of Ireland Care
Plant this specimen in full sun or partial shade in well-draining soil. Poor soil is fine as long as it has good drainage. Keep the soil moist.
This plant is not appealing to browsing deer, so use it in outlying gardens where other flowers may be damaged by hungry wildlife.
Bells of Ireland care can include fertilization, if needed. Large plants with heavy blooms may need staking. This attractive plant is good in fresh cut arrangements and is often used as a dried flower. To dry bells of Ireland blooms, harvest them before seeds appear and hang upside down until calyx and flowers are papery.