Unlike the name implies, bells of Ireland (Molucella laevis) are not native to Ireland. Instead, they are originally from western Asia, but as how you might imagine Ireland to look like, their foliage is a beautiful shade of green. Bells of Ireland bloom small white flowers in the late spring and early summer and make good companion plants for early spring bloomers like daffodils and tulips for a longer continuous display of garden flowers. Plant bells of Ireland from seed indoors about four to six weeks prior to the last spring frost.
Place the seeds in a small plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator for two weeks. This will help the seeds germinate.
Plant seeds in planting trays with moist all-purpose potting soil. Sow three to four seeds in each section. Cover the seeds lightly with soil so they are still exposed to the light, a must for germination with bells of Ireland.
Maintain moist soil conditions and once the seeds sprout to be about 2 inches tall, move the planting tray to a sunny location, such as near a south- or west-facing window. Thin the seedlings to one plant per section once they reach about 4 to 6 inches tall. Choose the strongest, greenest and healthiest seedlings.
Choose a location in full or partial sun to plant your bells of Ireland. They can tolerate most soil conditions, but prefer soil that drains well. Therefore, incorporate 2 to 3 inches of compost or peat moss into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil prior to planting.
Transplant the seedlings once temperatures at night maintain at least 40 degrees F. Plant one per square foot and at the same depth as they were planted in the planting tray. Water the transplants with about an inch of water.