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I wonder about bluebells

B3B3 Posts: 15,866
Whilst slicing off the emerging shoots of Spanish bluebells - sad but it has to be done😕, I got to wondering whether , if I let them grow before slicing them off, would they have used up more soil nutrients than they will provide on the compost heap? Not, that I'm prepared to bother anymore, does getting the bulb out make any difference?
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • Getting the bulbs out does help.

    Your probably better off slicing the tops off as soon as you see them rather than letting it grow, as big leaves are photosynthesising away.

    The good news is I'm pretty sure I saw some research from the last year or so that said actually they're not much of a threat to the native bluebells after all as the native ones outcompete in woodland areas.

    I'll try and dig it out.
  • B3B3 Posts: 15,866
    edited 20 February
    Thanks @jonathan.cole. I've completely given up digging the bulbs. Some go past my elbow! I'm in the slice them off and forget about them camp😊
    To late for me to worry about hybridisation. That bird has flown. I'm more concerned about them taking over my flower beds
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 449
    I am the same @B3 I got out what I could but I still have some that I could not find, no matter how deep I dug so as soon as I see leaves, they are chopped
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 229
    I think they do hybridise. The previous owner of this house planted loads of Spanish bluebells, no doubt in happy ignorance. They are persistent little beggars aren’t they?! I’ve noticed wild bluebells about 100 metres away that look like a cross between the 2. Hopefully it’s less bad than first thought though, that is good news. 
  • A7HM4X---bluebell-typesjpgSorry about the big photo, can't seem to crop it.  Bluebell hybrids - and worse still, they are fertile.
  • I reduced the number of Spanish bluebells in my garden significantly by pulling them out as large clumps as soon as they are big enough to hold on to. The key is to do so when the soil is really wet, i.e after prolonged rain, then they come out easily, as one large clump, together with some wet soil. And because the bulbs come out as well, there are no new ones next season. 
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,211
    I inherited some Spanish bluebells here, but got rid of them, as there is a lovely bluebell wood a couple of fields away. 
    Then some bluebells appeared in the border. They looked like English ones, but as well as a a white, there was even a pink one. I was worried they were hybrids, but did some online ferreting and found an article that said you need to look at the stamens. Those on English bluebells are always cream in colour, while Spanish ones have blue. 
    I checked out mine and they all passed the stamen colour test, so with a sigh of relief they were allowed to stay :)  They were much nearer to places where there had been Spanish ones though, than they were to the wood, or the part of the garden where I had planted some (mostly unsuccessful) bluebell bulbs. Maybe in this instance the natives overwhelmed the invaders?
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