Blue Flowers - An Illustrated List
Blue flowers create a cool feeling in your garden and add a touch of peace and tranquility. When my flower garden began to look like a wild mish-mash and our yard steamed in summer heat, I decided to cool things down a bit by adding a touch of blue.
The color blue can appear to recede. As it is a cool color that is close to green, it can almost disappear among reds, oranges, and yellows. When I decided to go for a cooler theme and slowly change the garden to blue, pink, and white it took a lot of research. Pink and white flowers set behind or mixed among blue blooms help make the blue stand out.
As there are few true blue flowers, shades of purple and lilac may blend in with the blues and take on bluish hues.
Planting and Growing Tips:
- When planting a garden or reworking an old one, make sure to introduce a variety of flowers with different bloom times so that the show goes on for as long as possible. To that effect, here is a list of blue flowers that will keep your garden blue from Spring until Fall.
- When growing plants from bulbs, leave the foliage to grow after the blooms have faded in order to provide energy for next year's flowers.
- When plants prefer part shade, that should be afternoon shade to protect the plant from strong afternoon sun.
- Check out the pH of your soil. Certain plants grow best in acid soils while others prefer more alkaline conditions.
- Water new plants until they become established.
Muscari or Grape Hyacinths are low growing plants grown from bulbs with tiny flowers in beautiful shades of blue. Plant bulbs in full sun in well drained soil. Grape hyacinths will spread.
Hyacinth Orientalis or Common Hyacinths produce highly aromatic, densly packed little flowers on a low spike. The waxy, bell shaped blooms grow up between fleshy, strappy leaves. Plant bulb 6 - 8 inches deep in Fall with the pointy side facing up.
Wood Hyacinth or Hyacinth Hispanica or Spanish Bluebells. these deer resistant plants from 10 - 12 inches tall producing short spikes of blue to lavender bell shaped blooms. Beautiful in a woodland setting, Spanish bluebells prefer partial to full shade. Plant this heirloom bulb in Fall in average to loamy well drained soil.
Amsonia or Blue Star is a bushy perennial native to South/Central USA that produces clusters of tiny, star shaped true blue flowers in Spring. The clump forming plant attracts butterflies. In US Zone 5 - 8 plant in well drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Afternoon shade allows the blooms to last longer.
Anemone or Windflower. This 10 - 18 inch tall plant produces pretty 2 1/2 - 3/12 inch periwinkle blue flowers. Plant bulb in rich, well drained soil.
Baptisia australis or False Indigo is a shrubby perennial with pretty oval leaves. Light blue to deep blue flowers reminiscent of sweet-peas appear in Spring. Plant in acid, well drained soil in full sun or part shade. The 3 - 4 foot tall plant produces dark seed pods in summer.
Brunnera macropylla or False Forget-me-not is a clump forming perennial that produces tiny, bright blue flowers in Spring. This shade of blue really stands our among the green foliage. Low plants with heart shaped leaves are low maintenance.
Columbine - Rocky Mountain Columbine is a native plant with a delicate look that offers blue and white or bluish violet and white flowers in late Spring to early Summer. Growing 1 - 3 feel tall in US Zone 3 - 10, Columbine do best in partial shade in well drained soil. Columbine will reseed.
Forget-me-not or Myostis offer tiny light blue flowers with a yellow center. The 6 - 8 inch tall is short lived biennial but may reseed. There are also annual and perennial varieties. Plant this drought tolerant flower in the shade.
Rosemary is an herb that produces tiny blue flowers amongst gray green foliage that resembles needles on a Christmas tree. This woody perennial is aromatic and evergreen. Grows best in warmer areas up to Zone 6 but will die in very cold temperatures. The sprawling plant can be pruned to shape. It can be dried and used in stews, with poultry, and in breads. Prefers full sun and dry alkaline soil.
Blue Flowers for Late Spring into Summer
Allium caerulum or Ornamental Onion. Several shades of blue appear in varieties like Persia Blue and Azure. This glorified onion produces tiny blue flowers on a globe that grows on a stem up to 3 feet tall in US Zone 4 - 9. Plant bulb in Fall in full sun. Divide every few years.
Delphinium are tall perennials that produce flower spikes up to 6 feet tall and are excellent for flower arrangements. Delphinium prefer cool, moist summers. Plant in full sun to light shade in well drained soil. Water once a week in hot weather. Delphiniums will benefit from lots of composted manure. They prefer a slightly alkaline soil (adding lime will help if your soil is acid). Spikes may need staking. Deadhead for new blooms. Divide every few years in Early Spring. US Zone 3 - 8.
Flax is an ancient plant that has been in cultivation for thousands of years. Used to make linen, for culinary purposes, and for Linseed oil, flax produces tiny true blue flowers on delicate 18 - 3- inch plants. Each bloom lasts one day but the plant will keep blooming for a long time. This annual prefers full sun and poor soil. Appreciate humidity and moisture. You can use the culinary seeds you buy, planting in early Spring.
Larkspur of Delphinium consolida is an annual version of Delphinium that may reseed. Chill and moisten seeds before planting in early Spring or purchase young plants. (Chill and moisten seeds by setting in a moist paper towel. Place paper towel in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, making sure the paper towel is kept moist). Grows in US Zones 3 - 11.
Lupine is a dramatic perennial native to Eastern North America. Lupinus texensis is a South West variety known as the Texas bluebonnet. Tall 3 - 5 foot spikes appear over attractive, star shaped leaves. Long lasting blooms appear on the spikes in late Spring or early Summer. Plant in partial shade in normal to moist, acid, sandy soil. These flowers are deer resistant and attract hummingbirds.
Blue Iris appear in several varieties including Color Me Blue. Bearded iris are light to medium blue and are fragrant. Plant tubers or rhizomes in full to part sun, allowing pat of the rhizome to poke out of the soil . Tolerant of poor soil and sandy loam. Divide after blooming every 3 - 4 years. Dutch iris offers several blue shades including one called Discovery. Siberian Iris appear over grassy foliage and prefer an acid, moist soil
Blue Flowers in Summer to Early Fall
Agapanthus features a loose globe of small, blue, trumpet shaped flowers. Typically grown in warm winter areas, my Agapanthus made it through a very cold winter in US Zone 6. Blooms best in full sun (the flower illustrated here was in some shade). This perennial grows 3 1/2 feet tall. Prefers some moisture.
Blue Lace Flower or Didiscus caerula is an old fashioned annual native to Australia that has grown in popularity with the renewed interest in cottage gardens. Three inch in diameter Queen Anne's Lace like flowers appear in light blue shades on 30 inch stems. Seed directly as it does not transplant well. May bloom until first frost. US Zone 5 - 10.
Cornflower or Bachelors Buttons, Centaurea cyanus Native to Northern Europe, the easy to grow annual produces a deep, true blue flower. Grows up to 30 inches tall and reseeds easily. Tolerant of poor soils. Prefers a sunny location. Deadhead for repeat blooming that will last untillFall. US Zone 1 - 10.
Eryngium or Sea Holly is a perennial that self seeds. Spiky gray-green holly type leaves grow on a sprawling plant that needs staking. Unusual metallic blue flowers appear in summer and offer a unique appearance and texture. Plant this low maintenance plant in Early Spring. Prefers dry locations. Grows up to 3 1/2 feet tall in full sun in US Zone 5 - 9.
Globe Thistle or Echinops offers an attractive texture to a garden as well as when used in flower arrangements. The 3 - 4 foot tall plant has deeply lobed, spiky leaves and produces a blue globe of tiny flowers in summer. Blooms are long lasting. Globe thistle is deer tolerant and not picky about soil conditions. Plant in full sun in Spring. May reseed or divide older plants in early Spring. US Zone 3 - 10.
Hydrangea, Mophead or French Hydrangea is a shrub that produces huge clusters of little blue flowers from light blue, to indigo, to purple blue. Colors can be intense or pastel. Colors on one bush (as seen in picture) can vary from blues to pinks. the large, woody shrub needs a lower pH or acid soil to produce blue colors. Add coffee grounds to soil and feed with fertilizer that is heavy in potassium in a 25/5/30 mix . Do not use bone meal to feed.
Lavender is an herb that produces tiny blue to lavender blue to purple flowers on pretty gray green foliage. This aromatic perennial is great for drying. Grow in full sun in alkaline soil in US Zone 5 - 9. Certain varieties will not overwinter in cold climates. Prefers dry weather and will not thrive in humidity.
Monkshood, Wolfsbane or Aconitum is an old cottage garden favorite. Several hybrids produce clusters of small trumpet shaped flowers that grow in a loos ball on a 3 foot stem.
Shades come in indigo, icy blue, and purple blue. Plant in full sun in cooler areas, in areas with afternoon shades in hot summer areas. Plant tubers in Fall, or started plants in Spring. Monkshood is highly toxic.
Morning Glory is a morning blooming flower that grows on a delicate vine. The beautiful trumpet shaped flowers show a star shaped pattern inside the trumpet. Grown as an annual in cooler areas and perennials in frost free areas. Morning glories self seed. The seed is very hard so when purchasing new seeds it's best to score slightly and soak overnight to encourage germination. Plant in full sun. Tolerant of poor soil
Russian Sage or Perovskia atriphicifolia. Various perennial hybrids produce light blue to violet blue tiny flowers on wispy gray-green foliage creating a beautiful mist of blue and green. Growing from 3 - 5 feel tall in US Zone 5 - 9, Russian sage prefers full sun and dry loose soil. water after first planting in Spring. Flowers last until Fall.
© 2014 Dolores Monet