Growing Beautiful Bells of Ireland

Growing Bells of Ireland

We’re walking into the flower garden and checking in on the beautiful Bells of Ireland.  I planted these by seed towards the end of March and before we begin I’m curious if you’ve ever tried growing this wonderful green stem?

Bells of Ireland is an annual summer flower, native to Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus.  In the language of flowers, it represents luck. I was first introduced this flower while working in a flower shop in the early 90’s.

That was a long time ago and I remember being fascinated with the detail and found it to be amazing in vase arrangements.

Falling Bells of Ireland

Grew in Startle Garden Raised Beds

I grew them in my Floral Startle Garden and the only regret is that I didn’t plant one level down where the Snow on the Mountain is blooming.

Reasoning because when it rains the additional weight fills the bells making the stem heavy to stand.  I thought they could have been slightly protected in the lower raised bed.

Sometimes these stems repair after rainfall and bounce right back if it’s a little windy; that didn’t happen after this week’s rain.

Falls after mature during a good rain

Member of the Mint Family

The Bell of Ireland has rounded leaves that are pale green with little white flowers surrounded by apple green calyces. This fast-growing plant can reach up to 4 ft. per stem and offers a branching out display.

It’s also a member of the mint family and that little white flower puts out a very strong scent.  This made me think it also detoured a lot of insects. because this whole area has been bug free with the exception of honey bees.

Prior to planting I researched the growing conditions and discovered it was unlikely to do well in hot or humid climates. We have both here and for that reason I planted early knowing it would expire by the first part of July.

For those of you further north this beautiful plant should grow all through summer.

Growing Tips

  • Full sun and good soil drainage.
  • Fertilize soil prior to planting and add natural liquid fertilizer in the early summer.
  • Can grow up to 4 ft, place as a backdrop in flower beds.
  • Seeds can be started indoors but do better with direct seed when it’s still cold outside but not freezing.
  • In wet climates it can reseed itself.

Cutting Bells of Ireland for Arrangements

Harvesting for Fresh and Dried Arrangements

Now you’re going to find out why I planted this beauty.  I love this flower dried and plan to harvest the stems to air dry this weekend. Before I do this I also wanted to enjoy a few as fresh cuts.

Harvest these stems for flower arrangements when half of the bells on a flowering spike are open. When growing bells of Ireland for drying, allow the spikes to remain on the plant until all the bells have opened.

Because this plant has several blooms on one stem I removed a stem with sheers and then cut the shoots making several single stems. Then I placed 3 – 5 stems in little mason jars with water.

This flower is also pretty with star gazer lilies, larkspur and cork screw willow.

Bells of Ireland in vase Arrangements

I kept things very simply and just displayed a few stems in my Welcome sign that hangs on our Tiny Shed.  I have been enjoying this project since March never tiring from changing out the jars with something natural.

Just make sure to add striped stems to the water so it stays clean.

Growing tips for Bells of Ireland

It’s a little late in the season to get this beautiful flower started in your garden now so, think about adding it next spring.

Seeds can be purchased online at Burpee or Johnny’s Selected Seeds and if you shop around I bet you can even find them at your local nursery.

This flower is incredibly easy to grow and who knows it may also bring a little luck to your garden space.


Growing Beautiful Bells of Ireland for Fresh and dried flowers



  1. Patti says:

    Oh they are so pretty. I’ve only seen them in floral bouquets and didn’t realize I could grow them in the garden. Of course, as a previous floral designer I’m sure you’ve used them often. I love the structure and the color.

    1. Carole says:

      You know it’s funny, I don’t even consider myself a floral designer anymore because it was so long ago. I’ve decided to start growing some of my favorites from those good old days though each year instead of doing the same old thing. This plant is a beauty and it would grow great up your way, the detail is amazing!

  2. Karen says:

    This is a gorgeous plant and I don’t thing I’ve even seen it in arrangements. It reminds me a lot of sweet pea foliage with those little tendrils and that color is just amazing. It sounds very similar to our growing requirements for sweet peas too – I sow seeds in November, give gentle protection over the winter, then by mid-March they’re done. I hope you get to enjoy yours quite a few more weeks and that you’ll share some pics later of your dried ones.

    1. Carole says:

      It is amazing sometimes we think that all flowers need to be in bright colors which I love but also find beauty in shades of green. Wow you must have really mild winters does it ever freeze down that way? I will share it again dried because I have a project brewing that also involves finishing my office space in the Tiny Shed. So it could be a few months.

  3. CD Loken says:

    I learn something new every time I come to visit your blog, Carole! Until today I had never even heard of this plant, and I can see I’ve been missing out. I’m definitely going to order up some seeds for planting next Spring! Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much for the tips!

    1. Carole says:

      Oh that makes me smile… This is a fun flower and it would look amazing in your garden. I’ll bring it back later when I use it dried,not sure what I’m making yet but it will be something for my office space.

  4. I’ve seen pictures of this plant but I’ve never known anyone who’s grown them. I’m still working on the perennial garden, but I’ll keep this in mind when I start to fill bare spots with annuals.

    Keep showing us your garden. I love your choices!

    1. Carole says:

      This is a fun one to add and it doesn’t really take up that much space either. I’m headed out this evening to cut and dry those sweet stems then fertilize and decide what to plant in that space next. Think I already have an idea.

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