Your Guide to Forget-Me-Nots
Blue forget-me-not flowers add a sweet touch of color to your garden bed
In appearance, there’s little difference between annual and perennial forget-me-nots (Myosotis). Both forget-me-not plants have bright green, lance-shaped leaves to about 4 inches long—hairy in annual M. sylvatica, glossy in perennial M. scorpiodes. And both bear elongated, curving clusters of 1/4- to 1/3-inch-wide, sparkling sky blue forget-me-not flowers. At bloom time, the blossoms form a cerulean cloud in lightly shaded and woodland plantings. M. sylvatica in particular is a favorite choice for underplanting spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils and tulips.
How to Plant
To increase plantings of M. scorpiodes, divide clumps in early spring. Grow M. sylvatica from seed; it self-sows prolifically, so one planting can be a lifetime investment. Where winter lows hit 0°F or below, sow outdoors several weeks before the last frost date; or sow indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date. In milder areas, sow forget-me-not plant seeds in fall for spring bloom (plant may overwinter to bloom a second year).
As long as you can give them organically enriched soil, regular to ample water, and partial shade, forget-me-nots offer no challenges. They’ll even thrive in the always-moist soil beside a stream or pond. Both annuals and perennial species look and perform best in cool weather and where summers are not excessively hot.
Pruning Tips & Plant Care
Spread several inches of mulch around forget-me-nots, which thrive in damp soil.
Snip spent forget-me-not flowers to encourage more blossoming.
Annual M. sylvatica reaches up to 1 foot high and spreads as wide as 2 feet. Its yellow-eyed blossoms appear in winter or early spring, depending on the severity of the winter, and continue to bloom as long as weather remains cool to mild. Varieties include ‘Rosylva’, with pure pink flowers on a more compact plant; ‘Blue Ball’, which 6-inch, almost spherical plants well suited to containers; and the Victoria series, featuring blue, pink, and white blossoms.
Perennial M. scorpiodes generally remains under a foot high but reaches 2 feet or more across, spreading by creeping roots. The blue springtime flowers typically have a yellow eye, though white-and pink-eyed forms exist. Named cultivars in white and various blue shades have been catalogued, but except for the long-blooming ‘Mermaid’, they are not in general circulation.
Forget-me-not flowers come in shades of blue, pink, and white.