Bluebells – Spanish and English Bluebells
One weed problem that takes time to solve is removing Bluebells from the garden. We look at how to control Bluebells using a combination of weed killer, smothering and digging.
You may be wondering why we place the very pretty spring flowering Bluebells in the ‘Weed category’.
We recently read an article naming Bluebells, both the English and Spanish types as ‘Top Bulbs’, we found this fascinating as we have been trying to get them out of the garden and the lawn and the paths for around 7 years.
We will admit that in an open woodland a mass of flowering bluebells does look great, when they are in flower. However in the average garden they can become a huge problem.
A quick search ‘Bluebells Weeds’ will find that they even regarded as invasive in the UK especially when grown outside their natural environment, which is a woodland situation. In the garden Bluebells are a bit of pest and difficult to eradicate.
Why are Bluebells weeds
The problem with bluebells is that they not only multiply underground, but they also self seed, and they are prolific multipliers. Our first hint of the problem was when we moved to a new property. In spring the first year the bluebells looked great. We also found them in the small lawn and pushing up in an asphalt driveway. They then appeared in pots of other bulbs the next year.
The Spanish Bluebell is Hyacinthoides hispanica and the English Bluebell is Hyacinthoides non-scripta. Both have bulbs that pull themselves deeply into the ground making then very difficult to dig out except when in full growth. The bulbs also send out runners and spread underground.
So to use, all bluebells are weeds, they will choke out other plants and are invasive. Eradication or control of bluebells is possible, however is is also difficult.
- If you are digging bluebells out then do it while the soil is damp, its much easier
- Use a garden fork and be prepared to dig deep, the full depth of a good sized fork.
- Loosen the soil well as otherwise the foliage will separate from the bulbs
- Dispose of the bulbs, do not compost them. they will only multiply
- Come back next year and repeat the process until they stop appearing
You can use a weed killer on bluebells, however you will need to mix some soap or dishwashing liquid with it to help break through the glossy foliage. Repeat every week while the foliage is showing.