Forget-me-not is not only a plant that is popular for its colors. Its blue flowers are also good for use in the kitchen. We show you how to grow and care for forget-me-nots.
Forget-me-not, Latin Myosotis, belongs to the family of broad-leaved plants. There are many different forget-me-not species worldwide. The plant is often used as an ornamental and can be an annual or perennial, depending on the species. By the way, the name of the early bloomer is surrounded by various stories – the exact origin is unclear.
In general, the plant has a strong symbolism and stands for love and loyalty. The leaves of the plant are five-toothed and its flowering period is from April to June, depending on the species and weather conditions.
Originally, the forget-me-not was a wild plant that was mainly found on banks and in the forest. Nowadays, the forget-me-not is very popular as an ornamental plant and is found in various species. The most common are the marsh forget-me-not and the forest forget-me-not. Depending on the species, it blooms in blue, pink or white. In the Alps there is also the Alpine forget-me-not. It thrives mainly between 1300 and 3000 meters above sea level and is well adapted to the harsh alpine climate.
For cultivation in the home garden or balcony forget-me-not is very suitable. Another advantage of the plant is that it is insect-friendly.
Forget-me-not: how to plant it
If you want to plant forget-me-nots in your garden, you have several options. You can either grow the seeds in seed trays or buy ready-made plants and plant them directly. If you want to grow plants in advance, it is best to start in May. Proceed as follows:
- Take a growing tray and fill it with growing soil. You can simply use old egg cartons as seed trays. Cut off the lid and make sure that they are as uncolored as possible. Make sure the potting soil is peat-free.
- Put the forget-me-not seeds in and press them down lightly. By the way, you can get the seeds in any common garden market.
- Make sure the seeds get enough light and don’t cover them with new soil.
- Then place the trays at room temperature in a place with only a little light.
- Water the tray regularly so that the seeds do not dry out.
- After about two to three weeks, the plant should have germinated. When the plant becomes vigorous and the space becomes too small, the plants must be separated. It is best to take another egg carton and transplant half. Then in late summer or early fall, the plants can be sown outside. When sowing, keep a distance of 20 centimeters so that each plant has enough space. The first flowers will appear next spring.
In order for your forget-me-not to thrive, the choice of location should not be neglected:
The type of location often depends on the variety of forget-me-not. So, in addition, pay attention to the instructions on the package or ask in the garden center. Basically, however, it can be said that two species are mainly grown in our latitudes:
- Forest forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica) and
- Marsh forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides).
Varieties of the first type prefer a shady or semi-shady place. So with the wood forget-me-not, be careful not to expose it directly to blazing sun. The marsh forget-me-not, on the other hand, should be planted in semi-shady or sunny areas. Also, be sure to plant the marsh forget-me-not in very moist areas, such as the edge of a pond.
As for the soil, make sure that it is loose. So it’s best to loosen it again before planting and remove weeds so that the forget-me-not can thrive undisturbed. The plant also prefers a nutrient-rich soil with a lot of humus. You can also enrich the soil with compost to increase the nutrient density.
If you don’t want to grow the plants in advance, you can buy the forget-me-not already in a pot at the garden center, for example. You can buy it in April and then plant it directly in the garden. To do this, proceed as follows:
- Take the plant out of the pot and water the root ball. It is best to place the plant in a bucket of water.
- Then dig a planting hole.
- Plant the plants and press them down.
- Water the plants well.
The site selection for purchased plants is identical to that for the pre-grown plants. If you are not sure about the variety, it is also best to ask.
If you do not have a garden, you can also plant the plants in pots or in balcony boxes. Again, avoid direct sunlight. Use humus-rich soil and water the plants well. Also make sure that the soil is drained and use a pot with a drainage hole to avoid waterlogging. If you want more than one plant, make sure there is enough space between the plants and allow about 15 centimeters.
Forget-me-not: How to care for the plant
Forget-me-nots are relatively easy to care for and make few demands on their environment. Nevertheless, you should care for the plants regularly. Sufficient watering is important, but waterlogging should be avoided. The top layer of soil therefore serves as a good indicator. If the upper part of the soil layer is dry, then you should water the plant.
The plant can be fertilized at the beginning of spring. Simple compost is usually sufficient to enrich the soil with additional nutrients.
In winter you do not have to worry about your plants. Forget-me-nots are hardy and have no problems with sub-zero temperatures. However, you should cover young plants that you have just sown with a fleece when it freezes. This should only be necessary during the first winter.
If you have planted forget-me-nots in pots, cover them with fleece or foil and put them in a warmer place on your balcony. For example, you can wrap the plant and then place it on Styrofoam, as this will provide additional insulation and warmth.
The plants usually do not need any further care.
Another advantage of forget-me-nots is that they are self-propagating. If you do not cut the faded flowers, the plant will self-seed and you will get more beautiful flowers from year to year.
By the way, you can also eat the flowers. The taste is rather neutral and they are often used to decorate soups or salads.