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The Forget Me Not Flower. The Sweetest Little Garden Plant Of Them All.

Blue Forget Me Not Flowers Beside A Garden Bench.The Forget Me Not Flower. Perfect In This Garden Setting.

The Forget Me Not Flower (Myosotis) is a biennial plant which may grow anywhere from 6" to 2 feet in height and about 12" in width, and which has delightful small blue flowers with yellow centres. It also comes with pink or white flowers and it is the State Flower of Alaska. It has been spread liberally over the planet because the seeds are perfect at sticking to animal fur and people's clothes. There are also annual and perennial types.

It is actually a type of Borage (a medicinal herb) in the Boraginaceae family and there are more than 100 different types, including annuals, perennials and biennials. But the original types were biennial (taking two years to develop flowers) and they flower relentlessly by self seeding. This type will take over, so they may have to be pulled out, or planted elsewhere. 

Forget Me Nots really do have a tendency to run wild -  after all they are a wildflower - even though they have been cultivated and hybridized so many times to make them more appealing. 

They can be a bit of a nuisance if you want to bring them inside as a cut flower for a vase, because you have to remove most of the leaves to prevent them from growing mouldy in the water. They are like Stock Flowers and other leafy flowers in this respect and can get a bit smelly if left in the vase for too long. But they are lovely in an arrangement if you are prepared to strip the leaves.

If you have forget me not flowers which do not flower in their first year, then it's likely that you have the true biennial type. Don't worry, they'll flower in their second year and regularly from then on. In fact, you're more likely to have too many rather than not enough flowers (if it's possible to have too many forget me nots). But if they are allocated a certain spot and they spread elsewhere, then just pull them up if they get untidy. The flowers may be tiny, about 1/4 inch across, but there are plenty of them in clusters all over the plant.

The stems are hairy and the leaves are covered with soft 'down'. The leaves are shaped like 'mouse ears' which is what the name 'Myosotis' means. The seeds are especially adapted to cling on to anything passing which may carry them to a suitable location to drop off and grow.

Myosotis arvensis ois

The Forget Me Not Flower. (Myosotis arvensis).

Ideally, Forget Me Not Flowers are supposed to love water and damp places, but this is because in their wild form they grew near ponds, streams and damp spots. But nowadays, some types are getting rather tolerant of dry conditions (which is a real about-face for a Forget Me Not), but it's true.

I have 'grown' them (or rather they grew themselves) with a great deal of neglect and they have survived near drought conditions. But to be on the safe side, I would recommend that you give them plenty of water in well-drained soil, keep them in shade to semi-shade, and if they look as if they're drying out, then give them more water. 

Flowers in Romanowo, Krowiarki (4)

They are ideal for part shade or dappled sunlight, and they will flower from early spring until late summer or even into autumn. They are perfect for borders and rockeries where they will always come up again next season of their own accord, and they look great in massed plantings in garden beds and around the bases of trees. They love gravel driveways, often getting squashed by the car. As with all wildflowers, they require minimal maintenance and care.

Basic Care Of Forget Me Not Flowers.

  • They require good drainage and plenty of moisture but will tolerate neglect.
  • Plant in early spring for both seeds or seedlings (baby plants).
  • Mix some organic compost into the soil and water it well in before planting them or sowing the seeds.
  • Use an organic all-purpose fertilizer a couple of times during the growing season, but they really will survive if you forget. 
  • Plant in a shaded to semi-shaded area. (The colour becomes more intense if there is not too much sun). But they can handle full sun for a few hours a day as long as it is not a heatwave!
  • They love being crowded - all in together, so thinning them out should not be necessary.
  • Deadhead them after the flowers have finished. This will encourage more blooms to extend the flowering season for as long as possible.
  • It's ok to remove all of the dead plants at the end of the summer (in cold climates) or whenever they have finished blooming, because you can bet there'll be plenty of seeds already dropped into the soil for next year. If you don't live in a cold climate, they will be happy to stay right where they are for the winter.

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"Sweet blue Forget-Me-Not, flower of love; 

Blue as the skies up in Heaven above". Anon.