Red, white and blue will be making a statement on flagpoles, porches, street corners – even truck beds – this holiday weekend. Join the celebration, plant a festive garden in patriotic colors around your flagpole or a red, white and blue container on your doorstep to celebrate Independence Day.
Adding blue flowers to your red and white garden is difficult to pull off. Only about 10% of the flowering plants on earth produce blue flowers, but the addition sure makes a patriotic statement.
Blue creates a sense of peace and tranquility in a room. While shades of blue are not commonly found colors in nature, more blue flowers are being developed and grown each year for gardeners to add to their gardens. Blue flowers can be incorporated into any landscape to brighten up a room or even balance areas with many popular warm-toned flowers.
Although blue flowers are less common in garden centers, each plant with this soft color is unique as they have a different shape, size or need for sunlight, giving each location a blue hue. With a variety of plant choices, all shades of blue can bloom in your garden from early spring through fall.
Spring bloomers are the first to bring color to the landscape after a dull, colorless winter.
Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are a beautiful short-lived spring plant with drooping blue, bell-shaped flowers atop 2-foot tall clumping foliage. They can form large groups over time – a breathtaking sight!
grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) makes clusters of small, bell-shaped flowers with grassy foliage. Reaching only 5 to 8 inches in size, they are great naturalization and pollinator favorites.
Annual plants provide continuous colorful blooms all summer long and make a great addition to your landscape or patriotic patio pot.
“Black and Blue” Sage (Salvia guaranitica) have stunning cobalt blue flowers with black whorls that appear on spikes 2-4 feet tall. Pleasantly fragrant foliage and heat and drought tolerance (once established) make this a favorite for containers or annual plantings.
Blue Daze (Evolvulus glomeratus) blooms with pale blue flowers amid a mat of small, fluffy leaves that trail when planted in baskets or containers. The flowers are sunbathers, closing on cloudy days and at night.
Blue flowering shrubs can add shape and texture to your landscape all year round in addition to the rare blue color.
Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) is a shade-loving shrub with large clusters of smaller flowers. Blue flowers are produced in acidic soil (pH of 5.0 to 5.5). Aluminum sulfate can be added to soil to lower pH.
bluebeard (Caryopteris clandonensis) bursts with dark blue flowers covering the branches in late summer. The 3-4 foot tall shrub is a great source of nectar for pollinators.
Perennials with magnificent flowering blooms can be planted in any sun or shade garden and will come back year after year.
Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis) has pea-like, indigo blue flowers that appear above blue-green foliage in late spring to early summer. Low maintenance and easy adaptation to a variety of conditions make it garden worthy.
Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana) is a mid spring bloomer with powder blue, star-shaped flowers set amongst upright, clumping foliage.
Brittnay Haag, Horticulture Educator, University of Illinois Extension
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