How to Grow Bells of Ireland Plants
Annual, Moluccela Laevis
Bells of Ireland are distinctive and stately plants, grown for their tall,
dark green spires, thickly covered by lighter green, bell-shaped calyces
(leaves). This annual plant grows 2-3 feet tall. The leaves are so lush,
they all but hide the small white or pink flowers. Flowers bloom once during
the season, with a pleasant scent.
Surprise, surprise. Bells of Ireland are not native to Ireland. They are
native to Syria, Turkey and the Caucuses. Bells of Ireland plants are a lucky
symbols, perhaps linking their name to the luck of the Irish. They are also
not related to the Molluca Islands, which their botanical name might otherwise
The spikes of Bells of Ireland are used fresh or in dried arrangements. They
are widely used for St. Patrick's Day arrangements. As a lucky symbol, they
are also popular in wedding bouquets and arrangements.
Caution: The stalks have small thorns.
Try these attractive plants in a container on your balcony or deck. They
just might bring you luck!
Other Names: Shellflowers, Moducella Balm
Plant Height: 2' - 3'
Bells of Ireland are grown from seed. They are cool weather plants.
Bells of Ireland do not transplant well.
Sow seeds outdoors after the last frost date in your area, and barely cover
with soil. Keep seeds moist.
Seeds will take 25-35 days to germinate.
Important: Seeds need light to sprout.
Plants are good re-seeders.
How to Grow Bells of Ireland Plants:
Bells of Ireland plants grow best in cool weather. Grow them in full to partial
Place these tall plants in the back of the flower garden, or in a container
for your patio or deck. They do best in rich, loam soils, but will grow in
average soils with regular applications of fertilizer..
Space plants about 12 inches apart.
Keep soil evenly moist. Water frequently in dry weather.
Add a high nitrogen fertilizer once a month, to promote lush, healthy growth.
Protect plants from high winds. Stake spikes as needed.
Drying Plants - For dried arrangements, harvest plants in mid to late
summer, when flowers are at their peak. Hang stalks upside down to
warm, dry, well ventilated area.
Flowers Bloom: Spring thru Fall