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Lovely Shade-Loving Lungworts at Nature Hills

Chicago hardy foliage

Lungwort perennial plants (Pulmonaria) are also known as Common Lungwort or Lady's Milk Drops. Its botanical name Pulmonaria in Latin means lung and the silvery-speckled foliage for some reason was thought to resemble a lung as well!

Pulmonaria officinalis in its native form possesses many medical properties - often aiding in the treatment of coughs and diseases of the chest.

Lungwort will provide clusters of brilliant blue, pink, or white trumpet-shaped blossoms in the spring, and continue showing off their attractive and colorful leaves throughout the summer and fall seasons. Calling bees (especially Bumblebees!) and Hummingbirds to shady gardens! The light blue or purple blooms age to violets and pinks throughout the mid to late spring!

Using Lungwort In Your Garden

lungwort fun facts

These space-saving perennials spread by their slow-creeping rhizomes, yet are not invasive. If you have a shaded area that needs some pizzazz, consider planting Lungwort in large masses as a shade garden groundcover. Their smaller size even fills containers and planters!

To add texture and patterns to your shaded area, plant other shade plants to brighten up your borders or edgings. Even in the woodland garden and dappled shade understory, Lungworts play nicely with trees and shrubs!

Add to your shady banks, slopes, understory garden beds, and borders as edging, or let Lungworts flow along the edges of a Rain garden or pathways sides as a pretty row! Just plant this snazzy beauty in a cool, shady area in your yard and watch them dance! Their underground rhizomes create small colonies that act as living mulch to help keep other plants cool and their bare, leggy stems covered!

Caring For Lungwort

Odd name aside, the Lungwort is a fantastic garden perennial and is very easy to grow! 

Lungwort are underused herbaceous perennials that are not only very attractive but are hardy, resilient, and easy to grow. Growing best in part shade to full shade and requires average well-drained soil. It is best for Lungwort to receive sufficient moisture and appreciate a 3-4 inch deep layer of mulch.

Deadhead after the flowers are finished blooming, removing the flowering stems completely to maintain a tidy mound and the plant transforms itself into an incredible foliage plant with silvery spotted leaves! Otherwise, Lungwort are low-maintenance gems! In the fall, after the foliage has died down after frost, prune the entire plant to the ground and remove all stems, leaves, and other debris to prevent mildews, slugs, and snails from overwintering. To prevent over-crowding, divide your clumps every 3-5 years in the autumn as well.

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