If you love delicate flowers that spread quickly you might be curious about the delightful, low-demanding fellow – Myosotis sylvatica a.k.a. Wood forget-me-not. This flowering plant is popular with gardeners in some regions, and it is considered invasive in other regions. The important thing to remember is that myosotis sylvatica can thrive in almost any region and any type of environment with little to no effort on its owner’s part.
Member of the Boraginaceae family, the Wood forget-me-not shares it with other genera that have a worldwide distribution. This plant, however, only comes from various regions of Europe, with some specimens that may also appear in Asia. It grows naturally in habitats like woods, rock ledges, grasslands, shrublands, and scree.
The Wood forget-me-not is among the hardiest species of the Myosotis genus. We are going even further and we’ll say that this plant is probably the most independent and easy-going one you will find in its genus. The Wood forget-me-not can tolerate most extreme conditions in terms of sunlight, temperatures, soil, and even watering.
It is important to mention from the very beginning, that this plant is considered a noxious weed in some regions of the United States. If you live in an area where Wood forget-me-not is considered invasive, you should definitely avoid this plant and you can also find an interesting opinion on these plants here that reflects how this plant has become a problem in Alaska.
Are you curious to learn more interesting facts about growing and caring for the Wood forget-me-not plant? Keep reading our complete guide to know everything about this fascinating plant including its growing habits, ideal environmental conditions, how to propagate it, and more.
About Wood Forget-Me-Not
- There are several attractive cultivars of M. sylvatica which means that you get to choose the types that you like best. Some of our favourites include ‘Blue Ball’, ‘Blue Basket’, ‘Bluesylva’, ‘Music’, ‘Pompadour’, ‘Snowball’, ‘Ultramarine’, ‘Victoria Blue’, ‘Victoria Rose’, and ‘Victoria White’.
- The Royal Horticultural Society has prized both the adorable, compact ‘Blue Ball’ and the fabulous ‘Bluesylva’ cultivars with the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
- The Wood forget-me-not can make a nice addition to various landscape decorations. This ornamental plant is perfect for rock gardens, woodland gardens, cottage gardens, underplanting shrubs and roses, mass planting of spring bulbs, flower beds, borders, slopes, banks, and various types of containers.
- This flowering plant will look amazing near other edgy ornamental plants. Some of the ideal companion plants for it are Bleeding Heart, Curled Plantain Lily, Honesty, Rose, Rock cress, and other shrubs with similar growing demands.
- You can also plant your Myosotis flowers alongside different types of spring bulbs such as snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips. This way, you will be able to enjoy the bulbs first, and the myositis will flower soon after, with some overlapping that will fill your garden with joy.
- As mentioned above, roses make great companion plants for myosotis and some gardeners prefer to plant forget-me- nots at the base, to cover the thorny base of the rose bush.
- When planning your garden, don’t forget to add some greenery, especially since many foliage ornamentals that thrive in the shade make great companions for myosotis. You can fill the shady corners of your garden with forget-me-nots, hostas, ferns, and heuchera.
- Unlike other members of the Myosotis genus, the Wood forget-me-not has no toxic effects on either animals or humans if touched or eaten. You can grow this species absolutely anywhere you want without safety concerns.
- The flowers of the Wood forget-me-not are edible, so many people use them as a garnish in salads. They also make for great candied blossoms.
- You can prepare a herbal Wood forget-me-not tea that has a mild grassy flavour. Some say that this herbaceous plant can help reduce high blood pressure, promote restful sleep, soothe the nerves, and also provides a boost to skin and hair health.
Wood Forget-Me-Not Features: An Overview
- The Wood forget-me-not belongs to the Myosotis family of flowering plants. It shares this genus with other popular look-alike species, such as M. alpestris, M. arvensis, M. azorica, M. discolor, M. latifolia, M. laxa, or M. scorpioides (Water forget-me-not).
- Wood forget-me-not is a herbaceous and perennial plant. In optimal conditions, it can reach from 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) in height and a maximum of 24 inches (60 cm) in width.
- Its foliage comprises many semi-evergreen, soft, oblong, basal and upper leaves that come along with tiny hairs on them. The basal leaves appear stalked in a rosette and form relatively dense mounds.
- The Wood forget-me-not tends to bloom from mid-spring through mid-summer. During its flowering period, the plant shows up with profuse cyme inflorescences that consist of tiny, delicate, and star-shaped blossoms.
- The flowers are usually a lovely light, skyish blue, but some cultivars also exhibit different shades of white or pink. They can have yellow or white centres and measure about (6-10 mm) in diameter.
- Once the blooming period has ended, the Wood forget-me-not may bear fruits where its flowers were before. The fruits are shiny, dark brown when they reach maturity and contain seeds that are excellent for propagation.
Growing Wood Forget-Me-Not
The type of lighting exposure the Wood forget-me-not prefers will directly depend on the area you live in. Keep in mind that the lighter the Wood forget-me-not gets, the more water it will demand to grow healthy and happy.
In the Northern hemisphere, this plant can tolerate anything from full sunlight to partial shade. On the other hand, in the Southern half of the globe, it is best to provide your Wood forget-me-not with full sunlight all day except for the afternoon. In this region, the afternoon sunlight is harsher than this plant can handle, so it will benefit from a more shaded spot.
Temperature-wise, the Wood forget-me-not can do well in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. This plant is hardy in the USDA zones 3 through 8. Since it has a hardiness area that is so generous, the Wood forget-me-not will withstand both cold and heat without much effort.
Still, you should know that this buddy is susceptible to infections with powdery mildew, so it wouldn’t be so wise to grow it in a climate with super hot, humid summer months.
Besides powdery mildew, the Wood forget-me-not can also encounter problems with rust disease. This disease produces pustules on your plant’s foliage that will eventually break open to release orange spores.
In general, rust behaves similar to powdery mildew, showing up when your plant receives too much water or experiences high humidity levels. You can prevent these diseases from appearing by avoiding getting your plant’s foliage wet.
- Quality Forget-Me-Not seeds packaged by Seed Needs. Intended for the current and the following growing season. Packets are 3.25" wide by 4.50" tall and come with a full colored illustration on the front side, as well as detailed sowing instructions on the reverse.
- Alpine Forget-Me-Not Mixture will produce a lovely blend of pink, white, carmine and blue colored flowers. The blooms are roughly a quarter of an inch in diameter, displaying 5 petals which surround a yellow buttoned center.
- These tiny flowers bloom through the summer months and stand above attractive green foliage. Alpine Forget-Me-Not plants themselves, will reach a mature height of roughly 16 to 18 inches tall.
- Alpine Forget-Me-Not is categorized as a biennial / annual flowering plant. This cool weather wildflower will establish itself quickly, growing and blooming profusely through the warm months of summer, up until late fall.
- All Forget-Me-Not seeds sold by Seed Needs are Non-GMO based seed products and are intended for the current & the following growing season. All seeds are produced from open pollinated plants, stored in a temperature controlled facility and constantly moved out due to popularity.
- Fantastic addition to your home flower garden! Direct seed: Sow as soon as soil can be worked. Gently press the seeds into the soil. Keep the soil surface moist until emergence. Thin when seedlings have their first true leaves.
- Common Names: Woodland Forget-Me-Not, Wood Forget-me-not, Garden Forget-Me-Not
- Latin Name: Myosotis sylvatica; Species Origin: Introduced US Wildflower; Type: Garden Flowers
- US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast; No Stratification Required; 16 in tall at maturity
- Hardiness Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Planting Wood Forget-Me-Not
The Wood forget-me-not plant is among those species that enjoy having their feet constantly damp but will not appreciate over-watering or soggy conditions at all. Because of this, you will have to plant yours in a substrate that comes along with very good drainage.
In terms of soil pH, the Wood forget-me-not can grow at its best in any type that ranges from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. And if you want to give your plant the time of its life, you should also opt for a growing medium that is rich in organic matter.
Your Wood forget-me-not will appreciate your efforts if you pay a little extra attention to them, mostly when it comes to fertilizing. This plant will perform nicely with annual applications of fertilizers.
Make sure you feed your Wood forget-me-not with a general-purpose fertilizer once every year in spring. You can also replace the commercial product with compost.
In case you want to have a full, eye-catching display around, the perfect way to do it is to mass several Wood forget-me-not plants together. Once the plants grow as big as possible, their tiny, numerous flowers will manage to bring that profuse-blooming look.
The Wood forget-me-not plant tends to spread as it wishes on its own. It typically does this by self-seeding, so you should take extra care with it if you do not want to conquer all the space around it.
To accomplish this, all you have to do is deadhead all the spent flowers and any seed heads you can find on your plant. This method will not only help you prevent your Wood forget-me-not from spreading like crazy but also increase its chances to produce new cute flowers.
Watering Wood Forget-Me-Not
The Wood forget-me-not is a plant that loves and demands moisture. Although this species will tolerate wet soil, it does not benefit from it if waterlogging occurs constantly. In humid areas where rainfalls show up regularly, the Wood forget-me-not will not need any extra drinks from you.
In warmer to hot climates, however, your plant would do best if you spoil it with water whenever the time is right.
If you are a bit confused about how often you should water your Wood forget-me-not, there’s an easy solution! The ideal way to avoid extreme watering or drought is to always check the growing medium in-between watering’s.
This strategy is known in the gardening world as the ‘soak and dry’ technique. We recommend you water your plant only when the top one or two inches (2.5-5 cm) of soil has dried out completely.
Propagating Wood Forget-Me-Not
Due to its ability to spread on its own via seeds, the Wood forget-me-not will multiply over time. You can take advantage of this habit and propagate your plant through division in spring.
When the warm season comes, you can dig up some of the new specimens that have spread from the mother plant. After you do this, you can transplant them in pots or to other locations in your garden. If you choose the second method, make sure you space the plants about 10 inches (25 cm) apart.
You can also collect the seeds from your Wood forget-me-not and sow them in your garden in early summer. It is best to scatter the seeds across the chosen surface without covering them with soil. Keep the spots lightly damp for optimal results.
If you are providing the right conditions, germination will occur in autumn and the seedlings will produce flowers in the following spring.
If you live in a region where the Wood forget-me-not is not considered invasive, you can consider adding this blooming plant to your garden! If, however, you are among the lucky owners of this versatile garden companion, you might want to take a look at other varieties to enrich your unique collection.
If you are worried that your Wood forget-me-nots will spread excessively, you can grow them in containers, or you can opt for less invasive myosotis plants such as Myosotis scorpioides (Water forget-me-not) and Myosotis alpestris (Alpine forget-me-not).
If you are familiar with Wood forget-me-not plants, do not hesitate to share your opinion on whether this plant should be cultivated or not. Are you growing this controversial plant in your garden or in containers? Let us know in the comment section!