The forget me not belongs to the Boraginaceae family of plants and is the state flower of Alaska. Their scientific name is myosotis, which means “mouse ears”. There are more than 2,700 species in the Boraginaceae family including heliotrope, Virginia bluebell lungwort, starflower, fiddlenecks and Geiger tree. Forget me nots are versatile, being small enough to be planted where larger plants would not fit. They do not require much maintenance. Just plant, feed once in a while and enjoy.
Forget me not flowers bloom in the spring and can be biennials (flowers that live for 2 years) or perennials (flowers that can live for several years), depending on the area they are grown in. Forget me nots grow in clusters; have five petals; can be blue, white or pink; and don’t grow over 12 inches in height.
Forget me not flowers prefer shady areas, but they can do well in the sun. In the wild, they grow in wet areas, so they appreciate a rich, wet soil. Forget me not flowers are hardy from zone 3 to zone 9, all but the coldest and the hottest zones in the continental United States.
Forget me nots are grown from seed. They can be sown in the spring directly into the garden after all danger of a frost has past. Mix organic compost into the soil. Cover them lightly with 1/8 inch of soil. Put the seeds 4 to 5 inches apart. When the seedlings start to grow, thin them out to 4 to 5 inches apart. They can be started indoors about 3 weeks before the usual time of the last frost.
Give forget me not flowers a general all-purpose fertilizer just one or two times during the growing season. They will grow as a biennial in the colder climates unless they are given a good mulch over the winter. If the dead flowers are not removed, the plants will re-seed themselves. If it is an area where they are perennials, it can lead to an overcrowded plot the next year. Forget me nots make good ground cover and can be planted under taller plants or small trees, with the exception of evergreens.
Crown rot looks like a cob web at the base of the plant. It can cause the plant to wilt away and die. Downy mildew appears as pale spots on the top side of the leaves. Powdery mildew is caused by parasites that grow on the leaves. Rust infection appears as rust colored spores on leaves or stems. Smuts are diseases caused by fungi. Wilt is a fungus caused by hot weather and drought that can kill forget me nots. Insects such as aphids and the potato flea beetle can also kill forget me nots.
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