(Images above provided by AFIF)
Ahhh…the rolling green scenery of Ireland – vast, romantic and rich. No wonder the Bells of Ireland have a name reference to this renowned country of greenery.
Let us start by clarifying that Bells of Ireland are not native to Ireland, but actually the Mediterranean; mostly concentrated in Syria, Turkey and Caucasus. It is also interesting to point out that this plant is not actually a flower, but instead are amplified calyxes that grow into a flowering plant. Calyxes (or bells) are leaves or sepals that develop into a protective house for petite, and slightly fragrant, white or pink flowers.
Bells of Ireland (or Moluccella Laevis) are annual flowering plants that grow in the summer and can get as tall as 36 inches in height. This flowering plant grows best when planted in the spring, while the temperature is still cool out but all signs of frost are gone.
To care for Bells of Ireland, keep the soil evenly moist and plant them in direct sunlight so it gets enough light throughout the day (they like full to partial sun light). If you want to feed the plant, a slow-release fertilizer is the best option here. They will love the extra nourishment, but need it in small doses. Also, if you notice this tall plant needs help to stand as it grows, adding a stake or planting against a wall for additional support are great solutions to help stabilize it. Once this plant dies off, there is no need to keep it in the ground. Bells of Ireland will not re-bloom, but the seeds they leave behind will germinate and grow full the following year if properly cared for.
Bells of Ireland are a favorite among florists to use in arrangements, like wedding bouquets, not only for its striking look but also for its meaning of good luck. Florists also love to dry out this plant, as they are easy to dry and will turn a beautiful cream color when the process is complete. Once dried, you can add them to other dried flower arrangements, integrate them into wreaths or use them as a simple, but pleasant home decoration.
Also visit our Bells of Ireland Life Cycle page.