The forget me not flower is a beautiful, dainty floret that is roughly half an inch in diameter. Its five petals blossom at the end of its stem.
This ornamental cutie is mainly found in a delicate shade of blue but can also be produced to display white or pink blooms with the help of a cultivar. It makes a lovely addition to landscapes and gardens.
This guide will show you how to grow this dainty flower so it can add to the beauty of your lovely garden.
How to Identify a Forget Me Not Flower
This airy flower is of the Boraginaceae family and part of the genus Myosotis with the two main types being Myosotis sylvatica and Myosotis scorpioides. Although both of the species have a similar look, they do have different bloom times and preferences for growing conditions.
Myosotis scorpioides is a perennial that is referred to as the true forget me not. This water-loving forget me not blossoms well in the shallow end of wildlife ponds or along the edges of the water. Newts and tadpoles love to use this flower for shelter and a place to lay eggs.
Myosotis sylvatica is referred to as the woodland forget me not. It too is a short-lived perennial.
However, it can be used as a biennial or annual.
Expect to see Myosotis sylvatica back in the spring right along with the bees.
This perennial variety does come back in the spring. It will create new growth by sprouting or re-seeding from underground roots and reliably produce flowers for years to come.
On the other hand, the annual or biennial variety does not come back every year. Below is a simple breakdown of the differences between the Myosotis scorpioides and Myosotis sylvatica:
Myosotis scorpioides, a.k.a., “True” Forget-Me-Not
Bloom description: light blue with yellow center
Bloom time: June to August
Height: 1/2′ to 1′
Spread: 3/4′ to 1′
Sun: full sun to partial shade
Water: medium to wet
Zone: five to nine
Myosotis sylvatica, a.k.a., “Woodland” Forget-Me-Not:
Bloom Description: blue with white or yellow eyes
Bloom Time: April to May
Height: 1/2′ to 1′
Spread: 1/2′ to 3/4′
Sun: full sun to partial shade
Zone: three to eight
There are other less common varieties you should be familiar with as well. The Myosotis arvensis, an annual forget-me-not, has striking blue and sometimes pink flowers. In some cases, they may continue to blossom until autumn arrives.
The Myosotis blue ball grows in compact and neat mounds, reaching a height of 15 cm. You will find that this beauty has distinct blue flowers that make an appearance during the spring and early summer.
A biennial cultivar, the Myosotis bluesylva, is a low, spreading flower with blue petals. Its yellow eye fades to white in time.
Another variety, Myosotis alpestris ‘Victoria,’ has light blue, pink, and white flowers. It enjoys a relatively long flowering period.
Not all forget me nots are blue. Some, such as the one you see above, come in tones of powdery pink.
Where to Plant A Forget Me Not Flower
You hear people in real estate say it’s all about “location, location, location.” Well, in the world of forget me nots, the same can be said.
The location where you plant this dainty flower will be one of the biggest factors that impact the success of your forget me nots. That is why it is so important to understand its natural habitat so you will have a better idea of the right type of environment for promoting its growth.
Forget me not flowers can grow in a wide variety of habitats. Yet, the garden varieties you will likely come across will be from evergreen forests or temperate woodlands in the northern hemisphere.
Your forget me nots will grow best in an area where they will be allowed to naturalize. They thrive in spots that are wet such as:
- border fronts
- rock gardens
- wild gardens
- woodland areas
If you are interested in planting true forget me nots (Myosotis scorpioides), you should take advantage of them being marsh or water plants.
Bear in mind that they do particularly well in shallow watercourses and damp ditches. You could put them directly at the waterline of an area that has muddy banks.
Creeping rhizomes will help them spread without taking the area over. Other ideal locations include pond margins and shade gardens.
When it comes to the woodland forget me not flower (Myosotis sylvatica), you will find that it flourishes in damp woodlands. Another ideal spot is mountain grassland.
You’ll find that forget me nots thrive when planted near sources of water such as pond margins and damp woodlands.
Both types of forget me nots love being in moist, well-drained soil as long as it is also in a spot that is sunny or partially shaded. Adding in lots of organic matter will promote healthy growing flowers.
Mix in about two to three inches of manure, peat moss, or well-aged compost before planting. Also, it is a good idea to make sure that the soil you are working with has a pH between five and seven.
Forget me nots do well in areas that have cool weather and that do not become very hot. If you live in an area that does experience hot summers, you would do well to plant your flowers in a spot where they will be exposed to direct sunlight in the morning and some shade in the afternoon.
You can plant your flowers alongside hostas or spring bulbs such as tulips or wallflowers for a spectacular and inviting look. As the lovely spring bulbs begin fading the forget me nots will begin blooming.
How to Grow Forget Me Nots From Seed
Forget me nots are lovely, low-maintenance flowers that are ideal for beginner gardeners. However, experts can enjoy growing them as well.
In addition to being easy to care for, they are disease and pest resistant for the most part. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to grow them the right way so you can enjoy their blooms for years to come.
First Step: Start from Your Flower’s Seed
You will need to start your forget me not seeds in vermiculite or moistened seed-starting mix. Sow your seeds outdoors in May or June. If you choose to sow them indoors, then you should do so in May, June, or September.
Use either two to three-inch pots or a seed flat. Your pots or flats should have drainage holes in them. Surface sow your seeds lightly.
Whether you place your flowers in pots or flats, such as the type you see here, you need to make sure they have drainage holes at the bottom so the plant won’t become overly wet when watered.
Leave nearly one inch between the seeds. Gently press them down to ensure that they mesh with the vermiculite or seed-starting mix.
Second Step: Keep Them Moist
Put a clear, plastic cover on the pots or flats to keep your medium moist. Another option is to place your container inside a clear plastic bag if it will fit.
Keep your trays or pots at temperatures between 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the area where you are letting them sit is a bright spot that is not in direct sunlight.
Either place your trays or pots on a warm windowsill or use a heated propagator to create the perfect growing conditions for germination.
Routinely check the moisture content of the growing media you have chosen every few days. Gently mist using room-temperature water when the media starts to become dry.
You do not want to allow your media to dry out. Given proper care and attention, your little seedlings should begin to sprout in 10-14 days.
Toss the clear, plastic cover when your seedlings start to emerge. Break out the watering can when you notice the top layer of vermiculite or potting mix starts to dry.
Third Step: Thin Your Seedlings
Thin your seedlings six to eight inches apart from each other once they get one set of leaves. The first set of leaves that appear are referred to as “seed” leaves.
These are not the flower’s true leaves. Wait for the next set of leaves to develop. This second set will not look the same as the first set.
Trim the weakest seedlings at the flower’s soil line. Use scissors that have been sterilized with rubbing alcohol.
Break out your scissors and start cutting away any weak seedlings to help your flower thrive.
Your seedlings will still need to remain in bright, indirect sunlight in a room that has a temperature of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fourth Step: Fertilize and Water
Keep watering your seedlings as you notice the top layer of the media starting to dry. Provide your seedlings one dose of fertilizer after you have thinned them out.
Improve the health of your flower by using 10-5-5 houseplant fertilizer. Opt for the water-soluble kind that contains nitrate nitrogen.
Pennington UltraGreen Citrus & Avocado 10-5-5 Plant Food
Pennington features advanced soil technology to help your soil hold onto water and phosphorus better. As a result, your plants’ root systems will be deeper and stronger.
It gives your plants a dose of extra nutrients in the form of copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and manganese to help them reach their full potential.
Plus, you won’t need to water your forget me nots nearly as often. Your flowers will love the added nutrients this fertilizer packs.
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
This all-purpose plant food works well on a variety of flowers, trees, vegetables, shrubs, and houseplants. It is loaded with essential nutrients to instantly feed your flowers so they grow to be bigger and more beautiful. Plus, it’s safe to use on any plant.
Cut the fertilizer so that you use 3/4 teaspoon for every one gallon of water. Spread your fertilizer evenly over the soil after a regular watering. Avoid putting any fertilizer on your flowers.
Spray your plants with water if you accidentally hit them with fertilizer. Keep the soil moist by adding a two to three-inch layer of mulch on top of the soil. Do not let this top layer dry out. Water it regularly.
Fifth Step: Transplant Your Seedlings
Transplant your seedlings when they develop a healthy root system and are big enough to handle. Transfer them to individual pots that have potting soil in them.
Make sure that the containers have drainage holes. Begin this step about two weeks after your seedlings develop their true leaves.
Keep watering your seedlings as you notice the potting soil starts to become dry. Remember, forget me nots love moist, well-drained soil.
Sixth Step: Get Your Seedlings Ready
Introduce your seedlings to direct sunlight slowly. Place them outside in a shady or bright spot for about an hour or two.
Wait until any danger of frost has passed. Keep it protected from forceful winds that can dry it out during the day. Start placing them in the direct morning sun for 30-60 minutes after a few days have passed.
Take your potted forget me not outside and let it soak up the sun. Gradually build up to the point where you can leave it outside for four hours.
Lengthen the amount of time you expose them to the sun by 30 minutes each day until you work them up to being in the sun for four hours daily. Let your potting soil dry a bit before watering your seedlings.
Seventh Step: Put Them in the Soil
Ready for the fun part? Plant your forget-me-not seedlings in the ground the spring after the last expected frost. Keep them 9-12 inches apart as you dig the planting holes.
Make them deep enough so your plants’ bases won’t be any deeper than they were while in their pots or flats. Give them a good foundation to grow by laying them in soil that drains quickly and is full of organic matter.
Blend a two to three-inch depth of aged compost, cow manure, leaf mold, sphagnum peat moss, or composted pine bark mulch into the top eight to ten inches of soil. Check that the soil has a pH between 5.6 and 7 before planting.
How to Care for Your Forget Me Not Flower
Repelling diseases and pests is what forget me nots do best. However, their foliage does attract rust and downy or powdery mildew after they blossom.
Water flowers that are grown in drier regions or when drought and extreme heat enter the picture. Fertilize your flowers once or twice each season.
Do so once in spring and again in the fall if you need to. Get rid of dead foliage on your forget me nots. Pinch them off at their little stems.
Doing so will promote the growth of new blooms as well as help control reseeding. Reducing the spread of these flowers is a good idea if you don’t want this invasive plant to take over your garden.
Keep an eye on your forget me nots’ moisture level. Water them when the top three inches of the soil starts to feel dry. Stick your finger in the soil to test its moisture level.
Cut back on your watering schedule when your flowers enter their period of dormancy during the winter. Water only once or twice per month during this time.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.