The wispy, baby blue forget-me-not is a flower Ohioans can easily encounter in a neglected parking lot or on a hike. Its small, sprawling vines give rise to rounded bundles of flowers in mid spring, and some varieties, especially the weedier types, keep the flowers until late into summer—although the blooms look rather grizzled by the end of their life. Most forget-me-nots are annuals, and the longer-lived bi-annual varieties tend not to be as pretty. However, forget-me-nots sow themselves so easily when they are planted in a good spot, that they tend to return year after year, slowly dominating the garden in a charming way.
Forget-me-nots thrive in shady, moist places, which explains why they so often grow near rivers in nature. To have forget-me-nots growing in your garden ASAP, sprinkle their seeds from a seed packet where you’d like them to grow in summer, and next spring they will appear. Alternatively, start the seeds now, indoors, keeping the soil well watered. Acclimate them to cold by keeping them in a garage or near a drafty window when it’s a month until planting time, and transplant in late March.
Forget-me-nots tend to drop most of their seeds at the end of their season, when the flowers are gone and the stems and leaves are brown and tangled. Anyone entertaining the idea of a garden – be it windowsill, container, or in-ground – should consider forget-me-nots for a burst of spring color.
Forget-me-nots make a lovely, small bouquet to decorate a room. Their blooms tend to drop off easily, making them a poor choice for pressing and drying, but anyone who wants to try their hand at drawing will find forget-me-nots have been the subject of many paintings. These modest flowers are beautiful up close and from afar.