Close-up of Spanish bluebell flower
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Avoid Planting Spanish Bluebells & Use These Friendlier Alternatives
Although their bell-shaped flowers are charming, Spanish bluebells are often more trouble than they’re worth due to their aggressive nature and uncanny regenerative abilities.
Spanish bluebells spread very quickly, taking over entire gardens. They are resistant to weed killers, so digging up their deep, hard-to-see bulbs is the only way to banish them.
You can also try repeatedly cutting off the shoots before they flower, but if you miss one bulb or seed, they’ll return. Plus, Spanish bluebells are very toxic to people and pets.
Luckily, you can grow many stunning blue flowers that have far fewer problems. Among these, the Virginia bluebell is the closest in look — and it’s low-maintenance and nontoxic.
Another great choice is the common camas, nontoxic perennials that boast star-shaped, blue-violet flowers. They are easy to grow, prefer sun or part shade, and work well in beds.