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Bells of Ireland Companion Plants: A Guide to Planting

bells of ireland companion plants

Bells of Ireland

Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) is a unique plant that belongs to the mint family. It is native to Turkey, Syria, and the Caucasus region but is now widely grown in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, and Australia. This plant is known for its tall, green spires of bell-shaped flowers that grow up to 3 feet tall.

But what makes this plant even more interesting is that it's not just a pretty face. Bells of Ireland is also an excellent companion plant for many other types of plants. In fact, it can help improve the growth and health of neighboring plants, making it a great addition to any garden or landscape.

Companion Plants for Bells of Ireland

1. Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula) is a versatile plant that makes an excellent companion for Bells of Ireland. Both plants thrive in well-drained soil and full sun. Lavender has a calming effect on bees and other pollinators, which can help attract them to your garden. Additionally, the aromatic oils in lavender can help repel pests, making it a natural pest deterrent.

When planting Bells of Ireland with Lavender, make sure to give each plant enough space to grow. Lavender should be planted around the edges of the garden bed, while Bells of Ireland can be planted in the center or in groups along the border.

2. Sunflowers

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are another great companion plant for Bells of Ireland. Both plants have similar growing requirements and can thrive in the same soil conditions. Sunflowers attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which can help control pests like aphids and mites.

When planting Bells of Ireland with sunflowers, make sure to give each plant enough space to grow. Sunflowers should be planted towards the back of the garden bed or border, while Bells of Ireland can be planted in front of them.

3. Marigolds

Marigolds (Tagetes) are a popular companion plant for many types of plants, including Bells of Ireland. Marigolds have natural insecticidal properties that can help repel pests like nematodes and whiteflies. Additionally, marigolds are known for their ability to improve soil health by suppressing harmful soil-borne pathogens.

When planting Bells of Ireland with marigolds, make sure to give each plant enough space to grow. Marigolds can be planted along the edges of the garden bed or in groups throughout the bed, while Bells of Ireland can be planted in the center or in groups along the border.

4. Salvia

Salvia (Salvia officinalis) is a herb that makes an excellent companion for Bells of Ireland. Salvia has natural insecticidal properties that can help repel pests like moths and beetles. Additionally, the aromatic oils in salvia can help attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden.

When planting Bells of Ireland with salvia, make sure to give each plant enough space to grow. Salvia should be planted around the edges of the garden bed or in groups throughout the bed, while Bells of Ireland can be planted in the center or in groups along the border.

5. Zinnias

Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) are another great companion plant for Bells of Ireland. Zinnias attract beneficial insects like butterflies and bees, which can help pollinate neighboring plants. Additionally, zinnias are known for their ability to improve soil health by suppressing harmful soil-borne pathogens.

When planting Bells of Ireland with zinnias, make sure to give each plant enough space to grow. Zinnias should be planted towards the back of the garden bed or border, while Bells of Ireland can be planted in front of them.

Bells of Ireland Companion Planting Tips

1. Plant in well-drained soil

Bells of Ireland and its companion plants thrive in well-drained soil. Make sure to amend your soil with compost or other organic matter before planting to ensure good drainage.

2. Provide full sun

Bells of Ireland and its companion plants need full sun to thrive. Make sure to plant them in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

3. Water regularly

Bells of Ireland and its companion plants need regular watering to stay healthy. Water deeply once per week, or more often during hot weather or drought conditions.

4. Mulch around plants

Mulching around your plants can help conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Use a natural mulch like shredded leaves or straw, and apply a layer about 2-3 inches thick around the base of each plant.

5. Rotate crops

To prevent soil-borne diseases and pests, it's important to rotate your crops each year. Don't plant the same type of plant in the same location for more than 2 years in a row.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Bells of Ireland be grown in containers?

Yes, Bells of Ireland can be grown in containers as long as the container is large enough to accommodate the plant's root system. Use a well-draining potting mix and make sure the container has drainage holes.

2. How often should I fertilize Bells of Ireland?

Bells of Ireland does not require frequent fertilization. Apply a balanced fertilizer once per month during the growing season.

3. Are Bells of Ireland invasive?

No, Bells of Ireland is not considered an invasive plant. However, it can self-seed in some locations, so it's important to deadhead spent flowers to prevent seeds from spreading.

4. Can Bells of Ireland be used in cut flower arrangements?

Yes, Bells of Ireland is a popular cut flower that is often used in floral arrangements. Cut the stems just before the flowers open for best results.

5. What other plants make good companions for Bells of Ireland?

In addition to the plants listed in this article, Bells of Ireland also makes a great companion for other tall flowering plants like hollyhocks, delphiniums, and snapdragons.

Bells of Ireland is a unique and beautiful plant that can make a great addition to any garden or landscape. By planting it with companion plants like lavender, sunflowers, marigolds, salvia, and zinnias, you can help improve the growth and health of your entire garden. Remember to plant in well-drained soil, provide full sun, water regularly, mulch around plants, and rotate crops to keep your garden healthy and thriving.

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