Forget-me-not: plant and care

Forget-me-not: plant and care

Origin and Distribution

Forget-me-not (bot. Myosotis) is also known in some regions as the mouse-eared mouse, which is also referred to in the Greek generic name: This means exactly that and refers to the shape of the leaves. The around 50 species of the genus are native to almost all of the world, with around 41 different species also being found in Central Europe. Where the lyrical name comes from is not exactly clear. A whole series of legends refer to the origin of the name, which differ greatly from region to region. Everywhere, however, a bouquet of blue blooming forget-me-nots is a sign of love, loyalty and parting. Today the small flower is no longer given such great importance, instead the lush spring bloomer is often used as an ornamental plant in the garden.

also read

  • Maintain forget-me-nots in the pot or bucket
  • What to consider when planting forget-me-nots
  • Forget-me-not flowers are almost always blue


The pretty forget-me-not can be planted very well together with other spring bloomers and bulb flowers such as tulips and horned violets in the bed or as a border. For a colorful sea of ​​flowers, it is best to choose species that bloom in May for socialization. The numerous flowers come into their own when they are sown in large numbers and thus form a larger carpet - especially since some species multiply and spread quickly through root runners. Thus, the forget-me-not can also be used very well as a filling plant to cover larger gaps. If you don't have a garden but a balcony or terrace, you can also keep the attractive plant in a planter. The various winter-hardy species are simply unsuitable for indoor culture.

Appearance and stature

Depending on the variety, the forget-me-not is between 20 and 40 centimeters high - sometimes even higher - and forms long flower stems. Most species are one to two years old, but there are also perennial varieties or the flowers sow themselves every year and keep coming back tirelessly. Initially, the young plants grow as a rosette and form long, slightly hairy leaves. Only in spring do the long, partly strongly branched flower stems with the terminal inflorescences appear. Many species are pronounced spring bloomers and show their splendor between April and June. Other varieties, on the other hand, bloom throughout the growing season up to October. The small, five-fold flowers are mostly light blue, although pink and white flowering cultivars are now also available.Some varieties are initially pink when they shoot and only later turn blue.


The forget-me-not is not poisonous, but - on the contrary - even edible. For this you use the delicate blue flowers, which however have only a slight taste of their own. They are all the more suitable for this as a pretty decoration of salads and soups or on bread, for example. In folk medicine, in particular, the swamp forget-me-not was used earlier as a medicinal plant, although the ascribed effects could not yet be proven according to scientific standards. That is why the small flower is almost only used in homeopathy, for example in chronic bronchitis or diseases of the lymphatic system.

Which location is suitable?

Regarding the location, almost all forget-me-not species and their varieties prefer a sunny to partially shaded location, whereby the willingness to flower decreases with increasing shade. Basically, Myosotis also thrive very well in light shade.

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With regard to the soil, choosing the right spot in the garden is no longer that uncomplicated, as the different types of forget-me-nots have very different requirements. Some prefer a sandy subsoil, others need nutrient-rich, moist soil. Choose the right planting location - rock garden or pond edge - therefore according to the needs of the selected species. Basically, however, you can't go wrong with humus-rich, well-drained garden soil. The species that grow on fresh soils also prefer slightly acidic soil, which is why you should improve the potting soil with rhododendron soil or bog soil. This substrate is also well suited for pot cultivation and can also be improved with compost.


Most of the forget-me-not varieties for the garden are grown every two years, which means that you sow them in the summer months between the end of May and the end of July and do not receive flowering plants until the following year. You can sow the seeds in bowls and cultivate them there as well as directly at the intended location. By the winter the plants have grown so much that they can survive the winter outdoors without any problems. And this is how sowing works:

  • Prepare the planting area, dig it up well and crumble it up
  • To draw furrows
  • Spread seeds and cover lightly with soil
  • Keep the soil moist and pull out weeds regularly
  • Germination takes place at temperatures above 18 ° C after about 14 to 21 days
  • Prick out seedlings in August
  • Maintain a distance of approx. 20 centimeters

The young plants grown in this way often bloom as early as March if the weather is right. For potted cultivation, you can also place the young plants on the windowsill in winter, but they will then flower much later.

Plant forget-me-nots properly

In spring, however, many garden centers also offer early forget-me-nots that you can simply plant yourself in the bed or in the pot after the ice saints. This way you don't have to wait a whole year before you can enjoy the blue flowers. And this is how the planting works:

  • Select location
  • Loosen the soil well
  • Remove stones, roots and weeds
  • Put forget-me-nots in a bucket filled with water
  • If necessary, loosen the root ball with your hands beforehand
  • there the plants soak up moisture
  • Plant plants in the ground at a distance of 20 centimeters
  • alternatively in tuffs of three to five plants
  • do not put them deeper into the earth than they were in the container
  • Press the soil well and water it

Make sure to keep the specified planting distance of 15 to 20 centimeters - the plants spread quickly and then need adequate space to grow.

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Watering and fertilizing

Forget-me-nots are easy to care for and bloom profusely, provided that you observe the following care rules with regard to watering and fertilizing:

  • Keep the soil / substrate evenly moist
  • Let the substrate surface dry between the individual waterings
  • In the hot summer months, water mornings and evenings if necessary
  • no waterlogging
  • do not pour over the flowers, but directly on the ground
  • Use lime-free rainwater
  • Fertilize three times a year with compost and horn meal / horn shavings (€ 6.39 at Amazon *)

Cut forget-me-nots properly

The blooming time of the forget-me-not can easily be extended with a targeted pruning of faded shoots. In this way, the plants do not put their reserves of strength into the formation of fruits and seeds, but instead develop a new flower pile. In addition, pruning immediately after the flowering period has the advantage that you prevent or limit self-sowing - for example, by only leaving part of the flower stalks for the fruit to ripen. If there is no pruning after flowering, do not cut the forget-me-not until early spring just above the ground.

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Forget-me-not multiply

In addition to sowing, you also have the option of propagating forget-me-nots vegetatively - ie using cuttings or by division. These methods work best as follows:


Large-scale plantings of perennial species that are to be reduced in size and / or limited in their growth are particularly suitable for a division. After flowering, take a sharp and clean spade and carefully dig up the plants in the desired area. This often works better with a digging fork, especially since fewer roots are injured with this tool. Divide the pieces into several pieces, each of which should have a strong root mass. Put them separately in the new location, whereby such partial plants can also be cultivated very well in pots and other planters.


For the cuttings, cut off a few basal shoots with a sharp and clean knife by June - if possible after flowering - whereby the cut is ideally between the roots and the stem. Make sure that there is a small piece of the root on each cutting because the new root ball will develop from this. Dip the interface in a rooting powder and plant the shoots individually in pots with a nutrient-poor growing medium. (9.05 € at Amazon *) Alternatively, rooting in a water glass is also possible, whereby you should only use lime-free water (e.g. rainwater) and change it daily. The addition of wood ash prevents rot development.The young plants come into the bed either in late summer or in the following spring.

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Forget-me-nots are naturally hardy plants that can not be affected by frosty temperatures. Nevertheless, you can cover especially young specimens that were only planted in autumn with leaves and straw and thus protect them from excessively cold freezing temperatures and other winter injustices. In any case, however, forget-me-nots cultivated in pots need winter protection so that the root balls do not freeze through. To do this, place the plant pot on a thick base made of styrofoam or wood and wrap the planter with bubble wrap or a piece of gardening fleece.

Diseases and pests

Forget-me-not is quite susceptible to some fungal diseases such as gray mold (botrytis) and powdery mildew. Avoid infection by keeping the crop airy, not watering from above and occasionally providing the plants with a fortifying plant stock - a field horsetail broth is particularly recommended here. However, should a fungal disease break out, the infected plants should be removed as quickly as possible and disposed of with household waste - this is the only way to prevent widespread infection. When it comes to pests, it is mainly aphids that cause problems for plants. These often appear when the location is rather dry.


Some of the taller types of forget-me-nots can be used wonderfully as cut flowers for the vase, for example in a colorful spring or summer bouquet. So that the bouquet lasts as long as possible, put the vase in a bright place and change the water every day. Nutrients, on the other hand, do not have to be added artificially, especially since the plants cannot absorb them without roots anyway.

Species and varieties

The forget-me-not (bot. Mysotis) is a genus of around 50 different species of plants from the predatory family (bot. Boraginaceae). 41 of the known species are also native to Central Europe. There are numerous cultivars of some that are often used as ornamental plants in the garden. The most important Mysotis species for the home garden are:

Field forget-me-nots (bot. Myosotis arvensis)

The arable forget-me-not in the garden is particularly delightful because of its very long flowering period: between April and October it tirelessly shows its numerous, branched flowering shoots. The robust species usually grows one to two years and thrives best on nutrient-rich, fresh and loamy soils. The plants reach heights of approx. 40 centimeters and are versatile.

Colorful forget-me-nots (bot. Myosotis discolor)

The colorful forget-me-not bears its name for a reason, after all, flowers of different colors always sit on a plant. These are usually yellowish at first, later turn reddish and only later take on a blue-violet color. Yellow and blue flowers are often found together on the same specimen, which makes it easier to distinguish the variety from other Myosotis species. The annual herbaceous plant is only ten to 30 centimeters high and flowers between April and June. It thrives best on the edges of trees, along pine forests, on sandy lawns and along the edges of fields and roads.

Hill forget-me-nots (bot. Myosotis ramosissima)

The hill forget-me-not with its tiny, light blue to sometimes white flowers can be found in northern and central Germany in particular. The annual species mainly inhabits slopes and hills in sunny conditions on sandy, dry soils and is therefore wonderfully suitable for cultivation in rock gardens and gravel beds. In addition, dry stone walls can also be greened very well with the vigorous plant. The hill forget-me-not blooms between April and June.

Lawn forget-me-nots (bot. Myosotis lax)

The lawn forget-me-not is exactly the right choice for moist to alternatingly moist surfaces, as it also occurs in nature primarily on the wet banks of water. The species is mainly found in Northern and Central Europe. The plants reach a height of between 20 and 50 centimeters, do not form runners and show their blue-white flowers between May and August.

Sand forget-me-nots (bot. Myosotis stricta)

The annual sand forget-me-not grows up to a height of only 20 centimeters and thrives best on sandy soils, so that you can confidently cultivate the delicate spring bloomers on sandy lawns and stony surfaces. The species also occurs naturally on poor, sandy soils and is mainly found on dunes, on roadsides, on sandy fields and on rock heads. The sand forget-me-not already blooms from March and therefore very early in the year, and the blooming period lasts quite long into June.

Swamp forget-me-not (bot. Myosotis scorpioides)

The swamp forget-me-not is not only to be found in many humid areas of Germany - for example on the marshy edges of smaller lakes or ponds, along ditches or streams or generally in nutrient-rich waters as well as on wet meadows and in swamp forests - but also an important garden plant for them Planting the edges of a garden pond or stream. The species grows to a height of 80 centimeters and its flowers are extremely long-lasting: the flowering period extends from May to September. The swamp forget-me-not is a valuable forage plant, especially for bees and butterflies.

Forest forget-me-nots (bot. Myosotis sylvatica)

The biennial forest forget-me-not grows to a height of 15 to 45 centimeters and shows numerous sky-blue flowers between May and July. The species is widespread, especially in the south of Germany, and thrives primarily on the edges of light forests, but also on fat meadows and other locations with fresh and nutrient-rich soils. In addition to the wild form, there are numerous cultivars for the garden, some of which can also be found released into the wild. An attractive variety is, for example, the 'Rosylva' variety with numerous pink-purple flowers.

With the two related species Gedenkemein (bot. Omphalodes verna) and the Caucasus forget-me-not (bot. Brunnera macrophylla) there are two equally pretty representatives of the plant genus, which can also be cultivated wonderfully together with the various forget-me-not species listed here. Both varieties bloom between April and May and thrive best on fresh, humus-loamy soil. While the Gedenkemein is mainly used as a ground cover and quickly displaces weaker plants due to numerous runners, the Caucasus forget-me-not is an attractive perennial for sunny to partially shaded locations. The 'Variegata' variety of the Caucasus forget-me-not also scores with pretty, white-green variegated leaves.