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Spanish bluebells

(8 Posts)
Babyitscoldouts1de Sun 05-Feb-17 08:01:42

I planted some bulbs last year and they are starting to come up. Unfortunately it was in a bed that had Spanish bluebells in before. I dug out as many as I could, but you can never find them all. Now things are coming up and I don't know which are ones I planted and which are the weeds. I can easily tell my crocuses, but there were also tulips and daffodils. Help!

IlPorcupinoNilSodomyEst Sun 05-Feb-17 09:03:51

I'm plagued by bluebells too, I let them grow a bit then dig them out one by one when I can see what they are. Tulip leaves come up in pairs and they're quite broad so fairly easy to tell apart from the bluebells. I have also carefully glyphosated them but they're tough little devils! Good luck!

Babyitscoldouts1de Sun 05-Feb-17 10:15:28

They are more than two leaves so probably all bluebells then. This to get digging. Thank you

MrsBertBibby Sun 05-Feb-17 19:28:07

What's wrong with them?

IlPorcupinoNilSodomyEst Sun 05-Feb-17 19:48:47

They look like bluebells. The flowers are lovely but the leaves get long and messy and harbour billions of slugs and snails, ok under a tree in a wild bit of the garden but a pain in a flower bed.

shovetheholly Mon 06-Feb-17 07:55:46

mrsbert - the problem is that the native British bluebells are under threat from more invasive Spanish ones, which are hybridizing with the English ones. The Spanish ones are a lot less attractive in every way than the British ones.

OP, the trouble with digging out bluebells is that they like to be uprooted. It's one of the ways they are spread in the wild - by things like rabbits that root around. It's therefore really difficult to eradicate them completely.

I don't think there's any reliable way to tell Spanish from English by the leaves - it's the flowers that are the tell-tale thing. Unfortunately, they will hybridize very easily. I think the only thing you can do, really, is to keep a weather eye on the patch and dig out any Spanish ones that crop up there and then, preferably before they've been out for too long.

Babyitscoldouts1de Mon 06-Feb-17 12:27:46

They were there when I moved in. There were no native ones unfortuately. Neighbour has them too, so even if I manage to dig up every one they will still seed across for next year. I would just like to keep them as under control as possible. Am aware that this is a forever task! Thanks for your help everyone

shovetheholly Mon 06-Feb-17 12:32:51

If your neighbour has them, you may get cross-pollination anyway I'm afraid. However, if you cut the seedheads off (but don't remove the leaves!) they will propagate by bulb under ground (which will come true). Combined with rooting up the Spanish ones as you see them, this may help.

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