'True Blue' Plants

True Blue flowers2

'Classic Blue' moves into the garden...

The Pantone Color for 2020 is “Classic Blue”… a vibrant yet traditional blue that is trending indoors on walls, fabrics and even appliance colors. But, let’s take it outdoors this year, as we add blue flowers and classic blue containers to our gardens and patios. Blue is one of the rarest flower colors to see in nature… which makes it even more desirable. Blue colors evoke serenity and calm… welcome attributes for an outdoor sanctuary. Keep in mind a few flowers in the blue hue that will keep you on trend throughout the growing season. 

 

Hydrangea ‘Nantucket’ (Hydrangea macrophylla): Showy clusters of sky-blue* blossoms will add an elegance to garden or container. Photo #1.

Light: Dappled sunlight or afternoon shade; East or north side of home.

Soil: Moist, well drained

Blooms: Blue blossoms in acidic soil and pink flowers in alkaline soil*.

*Even in our alkaline soils, we are able to enjoy heavenly blue, hydrangea blooms. To keep those flowers blue, you have to increase the acidity of our alkaline soil with aluminum sulfate such as Espoma’s Organic Soil Acidfier.

Size: Shrubs mature from 4- 6’ wide and tall. 

Why we like it: Lush, blue flowers bloom from early summer into early fall.

 

English Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia): Fragrant and compact plants produce rich and saturated blue blooms to add a rich blue color to walkways, edging or patio containers. Photo #3.

Light: Full Sun

Water: Can withstand drought

Soil: Well-drained

Blooms: Early to late summer

Size: Compact plants mature from 10-12” tall. 

Why we like it: Over-winters well. Butterfly & bee friendly, yet deer resistant.

 

Delphinium (Delphinium 'Belladonna'): Spires of smaller flowers float above fern-like foliage in some of the most beautiful blues from deep midnight blue to pale sky blue. Delphiniums are at home in cottage gardens or formal gardens and are do well as cut flowers. Photo #2.

Light: Full sun, light shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Blooms: Prefer moist, cool summers and dislikes wind or pelting rain.

Size: Many blue delphinium varieties mature from 2’ – 5’ tall. 

Why we like it: Taller varieties add needed 'verticality' to garden designs. This perennial loves our alkaline soils. 

 

Sea Holly 'Big Blue' (Eryngium x zabellii: An upright-columnar, thick-stemmed cultivar that is best noted for its showy, intensely-iridescent, violet blue flowers and bracts. 

Light: Full sun

Soil: Well drained soil

Blooms: Violet blue flowers and bracts

Size: Grows up to 1.5 to 2 ft. tall 

Why we like it: Low maintenance perennial that likes dry, sun-baked beds.

Tip: Enjoy the flowers cut or dried.

 

Butterfly Bush ‘Pugster Amethyst’ (Buddleia davidii): This dwarf, compact shrub is unique with full-sized flowers on a dwarf plant. 'True blue' panicles attract butterflies, as well as hummingbirds. The lance-shaped leaves cling to arching branches. 

Light: Full Sun (6+ hours)

Soil: Needs well drained soil that is slightly acidic. In clay soils, plant shrub so it sits slightly above ground level.

Size: Grows up from 24” tall and wide.

Blooms: Bluish-purple flower spikes bloom and re-bloom from summer to fall.

Why we like it: Compact, mounded habit. Attract bees and butterflies.  Not invasive.

Tip: The plant has a tendency to take longer to leaf out in spring in our zone 5. Mulch in fall for winter protection.

 

Forget-me-Not (Myosotis scorpiodes): Tiny blue flowers with white, pink or yellow centers grow above bright green foliage in early summer. (Spring availability only.)

Light: Part shade to full sun

Soil: Moist, woodsy

Size: Grows from 12-18” tall, 6-8” wide 24-30” tall and wide.

Blooms: Spring through first frost

Why we like it: Sweet true blue flowers are sweetly fragrant in the morning and evening but odorless during the day. Rabbit resistant.

Tip: Prefers consistent moisture. Very easy to grow. The plant spreads easily by self-seeding.

 

Brunnera or Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla): Brunnera blooms in spring with small. pale-blue flowers that float like a cloud above green or variegated heart-shaped leaves. Photo # 4.

Light: Part shade, shade

Soil: Moist, well-drained

Size: Grows from 12-18” tall, 24-30” wide.

Blooms: April - May

Why we like it: Sweet true blue flowers are sweetly fragrant in the morning and evening but odorless during the day. Rabbit resistant.

Tip: ‘Jack Frost’ is a variety with variegated leaves that will glow in shade gardens.

 

‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glory (Ipomoea tricolor): This old fashioned, annual vine will twine around just about any trellis or pergolas. The rich azure blue flowers with white throats unfurl throughout the summer with tons of big blue flowers. (Available as seeds only.) 

Light: Full Sun

Soil: Well-drained

Size: Vines grow up to 15’ tall.

Blooms: Early summer to the first frost.

Why we like it: Easy to grow and love its old fashioned charm! Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Tip: Keep out of reach of children and pets. Seeds are poisonous especially in large quantities.

 

Salvia ‘Victoria Blue’ (Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’): This annual salvia is known for its showy, deep-blue flower spikes that bloom all summer. Lance-shaped leaves are a nice grayish-green.

Light: Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil: Well-drained

Size: Flower spikes can mature up to 8”.

Blooms: Early summer to the first frost.

Why we like it: Gorgeous blue color. Easy-to-grow annual that blooms all season.

Tip: This easy-to-grow perennial is a calling card for butterflies and hummingbirds.

 

Lobelia (Lobelia spp.): This lobelia is a light and airy flowering annual that blooms in a range of pale blue to deep violet-blue flowers from summer* until frost. (Not available now.)

Light: Full sun but tolerates partial shade.

Soil: Moist, rich

Size: 3-5” tall plants that mounds and trail a bit.

Blooms: Early summer to the first frost.

Why we like it: Fantastic blue flowers… sometimes with a white ‘eye’.  Lobelia look great in containers, hanging baskets and borders.

Tip: Water before the soil to dries out. Add fertilizer once a month. *Does best in cooler weather.