SEATTLE — Your flowers might not be in bloom quite yet, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for a colorless yard. The Chinese forget-me-not, Brunnera, can add some satisfying shades to your greenery right now! Ciscoe Morris shows us how to plant and take care of these shade plants. 

Ciscoe explained that the plant is very drought-tolerant and only needs to be watered once a month if it's in the shade. They do need a fair amount of water when first planted, though. 

Planting the small blue flowers in your garden can also help the environment in a big way too, he explained. 

"Bees see blue before they see any other color so our bees that are in so much trouble they love it if you plant this in your garden," Morris said. 

Related: Thousands of bees living on Notre Dame’s roof survive catastrophic fire

The plant will die back in the winter, but will cheer up the garden when spring comes around with its bright, little blue flowers. 

Read more of Ciscoe's advice below: 

Brunnera is a wonderful shade plant. It's known as Chinese Forget-Me-Not and it forms a nice size clump with heart shaped, beautiful silvery-white leaves which remain attractive all season long in a shady location . As an added attraction, airy, light blue forget-me-not like flowers rise above the foliage on 18-inch stems in spring.  Best of all, slugs and snails never touch it. 

New blooms continue to appear all through April and into May, during which time the leaves grow from tiny little hearts to big and showy in their own right. Through the summer and fall, Brunnera is an attractive foliage plant with big fuzzy leaves of silver or cream (depending on variety).

Not only are Brunnera attractive, but as long as they are planted in shade, they are also easy and durable. They prefer moist soils, and also tolerate drought. Some varieties reseed, but unlike their cousin forget-me-not, they do it politely.

The bold heart shaped leaves lend them to combining well with many plants such as grasses and hellebores.  A mass of silvery leafed Brunneras can brighten even the darkest of spots.

There are lots to choose from.  Here are the ones I brought to show today:

  • Brunnera m. 'Jack Frost':  'Jack Frost' has blue flowers in spring, and heart shaped leaves are have their vein pattern outlined in silver (very cool!) The amount of silver on the leaves increases as the season goes on. 8-15" height x 8-15" width.
  • Brunnera m. 'Looking Glass':  The silver-est of them all, 'Looking Glass' leaves are entirely glossy silver, giving the plant a bright, surreal look. Blue flowers spring. Think dusty miller for the shade.  18" height x 15" width.
  • Brunnera 'Diane's Gold':  'Diane's Gold' is real stunner with chartreuse leaves that  make the blue flowers really stand out.         12-17" height x 24" width. 

Enjoy spring!

Ciscoe

Related: Ciscoe shows us how to take care of bleeding hearts

Related: Ciscoe Morris plant pick brightening Northwest gardens this spring

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