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Growing Bells of Ireland

Growing Bells of Ireland

Bells of Ireland



Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) is an attractive annual plant with dense, light green, fragrant flower spikes. It is often used as a cut or dry flower and is also good in containers and in garden beds. The plants are somewhat spiny.

How To Grow

Bells of Ireland can be direct sown in the garden 1 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost. Cover the seed only lightly, as light is beneficial for germination.

Seed can also be started indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last spring frost, but germination indoors is somewhat irregular and plants can be difficult to transplant. Only cover seed very slightly, as light is needed for germination. Germination is promoted by warm days (70 F) with cool (50 F) nights.

Soaking the seed overnight in warm water before planting can improve germination.


Bells of Ireland grows best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. In hot, humid climates it benefits from afternoon shade. If allowed to go to seed, it will often reseed and return the next season.

Fertilizer Recommendations

A moderate feeder, plants produce larger flower spikes when fertilized. Use low rates of of  ALGOplus Flowering Plant 4-6-7 liquid fertilizer or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1.

Common Problems

Usually does not require support in the garden, and generally free of pests.

Alternative Products

Other annual cut flowers include Rocket Mix Hybrid SnapdragonGiant Imperial Mix Larkspur, and Oklahoma Mix Zinnia.

Product Recommendations

Plantable 2 1/4 Inch Round Jiffy Peat Pots can help to improve transplant success. Makes a good compliment in the garden or landscape for plants with white flowers like Akila Daisy White Hybrid Osteospermum or purple foliage like Purple Majesty Hybrid Ornamental Millet.

Bells of Ireland Facts

Its flower spikes are made up of small, white flowers surrounded by papery, bell-shaped calyxes.

Growing Tips