Pulmonaria Growing Guide
Pulmonaria saccharata, P. angustifolia, P. longifolia, P. officinalis and other Pulmonaria species and hybrids
Crop Rotation Group
Fertile soil that holds moisture well, with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.
Partial shade, especially summer shade.
Yes, most pulmonarias are hardy perennials, though cold tolerance varies with cultivar. The hardiest pulmonarias tolerate cold to -30°F (-34°C).
Drench with a liquid organic fertilizer after blooms fade in late spring.
Single Plants: 11" (30cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 11" (30cm) with 11" (30cm) row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Improved pulmonarias do not breed true from seed, so you will need to start with potted plants, which vary in leaf shape and pattern as well as flower color. Potted plants of improved varieties are widely available in spring. Set out plants as early as possible, while the soil is still cool. Spread the roots with your fingers, and take care not to bury the crown, which can lead to rotting. Where winters are mild, pulmonarias also can be planted in early fall. Young plants need water when they are actively growing. Pulmonarias need moist soil, and often need watering in summer when grown in dry shade under trees. Pulmonarias spread by growing plantlets at the outer edges of the clump, which can be dug away and replanted in spring or fall.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Pulmonarias with variegated leaves are wonderful plants for lighting up shade, and many cultivars produce showy blue, pink or white flowers in early spring. When well pleased with their site, pulmonarias will spread into a low ground cover.
When pulmonaria flowering ends, trim off old stems to better view the showy foliage, which is at its best in early summer.
Pulmonaria’s slightly hairy leaves protect it from many leaf eaters. Powdery mildew can be an issue in late summer. Many gardeners clip or mow off pulmonaria foliage in late summer to improve the appearance of the bed while interrupting diseases.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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Pests which Affect Pulmonaria