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Spring Blooming Perennials with Blue Flowers for the Front of the Border

Campanula porchaskyana 'Blue Waterfall' at Holden Arboretum, 6/19/09Introduce an element of calmness and serenity by including plants with blue flowers. The color blue is known to lower the pulse rate and body temperature, reduce stress, and create a sense of relaxation and order. Just think about how good it feels to lie back and gaze at the sky to experience the unique qualities of blue. Blue can harmonize with yellow, red, purple, and green, so fits right into any garden color scheme.

Here are five easy to grow plants that bloom in spring and will fill the front of the border with shades of blue.

Brunnera macrophyllaSiberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla)
The tiny delicate forget-me-not-like flowers of Siberian bugloss contrast with the coarse lettuce green leaves up to six inches across. Plants spread to form a handsome ground cover if grown in a moist shady site. .

Size: 12-18” h x 20” W
Light: Part shade
Soil: Rich, consistently moist
Hardiness: Zones 3-7

Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica)
Mertensis virginica 2Pink buds open to long tubular blue flowers with flaring
scalloped petals and carried in nodding clusters. The gray-green leaves are four inches long and disappear after flowering as the plant goes into dormancy for the summer.

Size: 1-2’ H x 1’ W
Light: Part to full shade
Soil: Rich, humusy, moist, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Serbian Bellflower (Campanula poscharshyanna)
Campanula porchaskyana 'Blue Waterfall' at Holden Arboretum, 6/19/09With long shoots covered with starry blue flowers 1-1 ½ inches across and heart-shaped leaves with wavy margins, Serbian bellflower is an excellent plant for the edges of paths, wall, or containers. The plant spreads quickly and forms an attractive mound twenty-four inches or more across.

Size: 8-12” h x 24” W
Light: Part shade to full sun (depending on the moisture available)
Soil: Average, moderately moist, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 3-7

Chattahoochee Phlox (Phlox x Chattahoochee)
Phlox Chatahoochee 2This hybrid phlox, related to wild blue phlox (Phlox divericata) features periwinkle blue flowers with a purple eye, one inch across, and carried on trailing stems. The leaves are dark green and lanceolate. Plants are slow growing and mat forming.

Size: 10-16” h x 18-24” W
Light: Partial shade
Soil: Rich, humusy, moist, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Bugle Weed (Ajuga reptans)’ Burgundy Glow’
Ajuga reptans Burgundy GlowThere are many good ajugas but ‘Burgundy Glow’ is one of the best. In late spring deep blue flowers arise on short spires from a rosette of foliage and last into summer. The oblong leaves are multicolored and add pink, rose, green, and white to the garden until fall when a bronze tint creeps in and contrasts with the rose color of the new leaves. Plants are vigorous and can become invasive.

Size: 4-12” H x 24” W
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil:Average to rich,most, slightly acidic
Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Recommended Reading:

Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on their Identification, Culture, and Garden Attributes