Bells of Ireland - Moluccella laevis, what a wonderfully unique flower. Also known as Shrek and shell flower, it has a scent a bit like sour apples. These tall green spikes make a wonderful feature piece in a flower bouquet or a standout statement as one big bunch!
- The seeds can be sown in early Spring, once all risks of frosts have past.
- Direct sow or raise seedlings in a greenhouse, press the seeds on top of the soil and do not cover seed as light is required for germination.
For the best germination, chill seeds for 1-2 weeks at (1.7-4.4°C) before sowing.
Germination takes 12-21 days at 18-20°C.
- If you're raising seedlings, spend a few days hardening them off so they adjust to the outside world. Leave them outside for a few hours on the first day, gradually working up to a full day to prevent any transplant shock.
- Bells of Ireland have a tap root, so they do not like having their roots disturbed, so take care when transferring into the garden.
- Choose a sunny or part shaded spot in the garden with well draining soil.
- Space each plant 25cm apart.
- Support will be needed as these tall flowers can grow up to 70cm.
- Bells of Ireland take around 90-110 days from seed to bloom.
- Harvest once flowers are 1/2 open and green.
- If drying the flowers, harvest when the flowers are open and firm.