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Bluebell Creeper Info: Growing Bluebell Creeper Plants In The Garden

Bluebell Creeper Info: Growing Bluebell Creeper Plants In The Garden


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By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Bluebell creeper (Billardiera heterophylla formerly Sollya heterophylla) is a familiar plant in Western Australia. It is a climbing, twining, evergreen plant that has the capacity to become invasive in other warm regions. If carefully managed, the plant makes a nice addition as an understory plant, with good frost tolerance once it’s established. Warmer regions can try growing bluebell creeper plants for their bell-shaped flowers and blue to purple fruits. Read on for more bluebell creeper info, including management, site conditions and care.

What is Bluebell Creeper?

Semi-hardy warm season plants that grow rapidly and create a screen or ground cover are hard to find. Bluebell creeper is a native to parts of Australia but has become invasive in southern Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and certain other tropical to semi-tropical areas. However, it won the Royal Horticultural Series Award of Merit as an outstanding landscape specimen. Australian bluebell care is very minimal once established and it has the ability to withstand drought once mature.

The former genus name Sollya honors Richard Solly, a late 18th century botanist, while the designation, heterophylla, is from the Latin words ‘hetero,’ meaning other, and ‘phylla,’ meaning leaf. This refers to the differently shaped leaves which are oval to lance shaped and glossy. The leaves may grow just under 2-3 inches (5-7 cm.) in length.

The entire plant can achieve 3-5 feet (.92 to 1.5 m.) in height with a similar spread. One of the more important aspects of bluebell creeper info is its preference for cool sun to partial shade locations, making it perfect for low light situations that are notoriously difficult to plant. Flowers are borne in auxiliary clusters, individually nodding and deeply blue.

How to Grow Bluebell Creeper

Try growing bluebell creeper plants in a lightly sheltered location, such as against a wall. These plants need some support as they establish but will gradually twine stems and self-support over time.

Propagation is by seed or softwood cuttings. Soil should be well draining, humus rich and kept evenly moist for best appearance. Bluebell creeper plants are hardy where temperatures can drop to 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -4 C.). In cooler regions, try growing the plant in a container in winter and move outdoors in spring and summer when all danger of frost has passed.

Plants bloom spring through summer and develop small, oval fruits that ripen in early autumn. Each fruit contains up to 50 seeds and plants self-sow freely. For management, it is best to remove fruits before they drop. Prune in late winter to early spring.

Australian Bluebell Care

Keep plants lightly moist but not boggy. Apply mulch around the root base in winter to protect established plants from any light freezes. Young plants should be grown in a greenhouse or under glass to protect tender new roots from cold snaps.

This plant is generally disease free but may occasionally be attacked by red spider mites. Use a horticultural oil to combat these tiny predators of plants.

During the high growing season, use a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.

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Australian Bluebell Creeper, Sollya heterophylla

Not often offered for sale in the UK, Sollya heterophylla is an evergreen climber which is grown for its nodding clusters of blue, bluebell-like flowers.

Also known as the Australian bluebell creeper, it's perfect for training over a pergola or arch in a sheltered, sunny spot in milder parts of the UK. In cooler regions Sollya is perfect to grow in a container, which can be moved into a greenhouse or conservatory before the cold weather hits.

The dainty, perfectly formed flowers contrast beautifully with the light green leaves and are followed in August-September by edible, sausage-shaped, blue-purple berries around 2.5cm in length, giving you plenty of garden interest throughout the year.

When fully grown, the Bluebell Creeper can reach approximately 1.5m (5ft) in height when supported and makes an ideal candidate for a container where it tends to remain bushier.

Fully deserving its coveted RHS Award of Garden Merit, you can be sure that this is a proven garden performer, guaranteed to be suitable for UK gardeners at every level of experience.

You can therefore plant this in the garden with confidence, for stunning displays for many years to come.

Supplied as an established plant in a 2L pot, ready to be planted into its final position. Reaches 1.5m, flowering June to September.


What Is Supplied

Top Tips

Care Guide

Planting advice for Sollya heterophylla 'Pink':

  • Water your potted plant well.
  • Dig a hole a little deeper and 3 x wider than the nursery pot.
  • Add a soil conditioner such as well-rotted manure to the earth removed from the hole if necessary.
  • Remove the plant from its pot and tease out a few of the roots.
  • Place your plant in the hole at the same level at the pot.
  • Refill the hole with the earth removed (backfilling).
  • Firm in the soil with your heel, avoiding the root ball.
  • Water well and mulch around the base of the plant with a collar, compost, gravel, bark etc.
  • If planting in a pot, use a good quality compost such as our premium, professional compost.

Aftercare advice for your bluebell creeper:

  • Tolerant of temperatures to -5°C, in frost-prone areas we recommend that you bring your plant under cover.
  • Keep well- watered during the summer, especially in the first year. Water sparingly during the winter months.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly in flowering months.
  • Apply a winter mulch and if you are in a frost prone area or move the plant indoors into a cool, light room.

Pruning advice for Sollya heterophylla pink bluebell creeper:

  • In spring cut back the flowered shoots to 2-3 buds high.


Plant Care Information

Top Tips

Care Information

Planting advice for Sollya heterophylla:

  • Water your potted plant well.
  • Dig a hole a little deeper and 3 x wider than the nursery pot.
  • Add a soil conditioner such as well-rotted manure to the earth removed from the hole if necessary.
  • Remove the plant from its pot and tease out a few of the roots.
  • Place your plant in the hole at the same level at the pot.
  • Refill the hole with the earth removed (backfilling).
  • Firm in the soil with your heel, avoiding the root ball.
  • Water well and mulch around the base of the plant with a collar, compost, gravel, bark etc.
  • If planting in a pot, use a good quality compost such as our premium, professional compost.

Aftercare advice for your bluebell creeper:

  • Tolerant of temperatures to -5°C, in frost-prone areas we recommend that you bring your plant under cover.
  • Keep well- watered during the summer, especially in the first year. Water sparingly during the winter months.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly in flowering months.
  • Apply a winter mulch and if you are in a frost prone area or move the plant indoors into a cool, light room.

Pruning advice for Sollya heterophylla bluebell creeper:

  • In spring cut back the flowered shoots to 2-3 buds high.


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Plant height and spread is seasonal therefore we list by pot size rather than a defined plant size. The height and spread of the plant delivered will vary depending on the season, meaning arrival images are an indication only.

Codes
2 x 2.5 litre potted bluebell creeper plants (KA7477)
1 x 3 litre potted bluebell creeper plant (77372)
2 x 7cm potted bluebell creeper plants (59295)
3 x 7cm potted bluebell creeper plants (10024)
1 x 7cm potted bluebell creeper plant (10023)

The Bluebell Creeper is half hardy and requires a minimum temperature of -5°C (23°F), so it is best grown over an obelisk in a patio container that can be moved indoors for the winter. Alternatively grow it in a warm conservatory or heated greenhouse. Pot up Sollya plants into containers of loam based compost such as John Innes No.2.

In very mild areas, try growing Sollya heterophylla outdoors where it looks superb twining through shrubs or against sheltered walls and fences. Plant in rich fertile, well drained soil in a sheltered position in sun or semi-shade.

Seeds and garden supplies will normally be delivered within the time period stated against each product as detailed above. Plants, bulbs, corms, tubers, shrubs, trees, potatoes, etc. are delivered at the appropriate time for planting or potting on. Delivery times will be stated on the product page above, or in your order acknowledgement page and email.

Orders for packets of seed incur a delivery charge of £2.99.

Orders which include any other products will incur a delivery charge of £4.99.

Where an order includes both packets of seeds and other products, a maximum delivery charge of £6.99 will apply - regardless of the number of items ordered.

Large items may incur a higher delivery charge - this will be displayed in your shopping basket.

Please see our Delivery page for further details, and more information on different charges that may apply to certain destinations.

For more information on how we send your plants please visit our Helpful Guide on plant sizes.

Thompson & Morgan strives to ensure that all its plants are delivered to you in the perfect condition for planting. Sadly, the time it takes to deliver to certain locations in the UK means that we can't guarantee this, so regretfully we are unable to ship live plants to the following areas: HS, IV41-IV49, IV51, IV55-56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR24, ZE1-ZE3


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