How to Care for Lungwort Plant

Lungwort is an annual flowering plant grown for its bright, colorful blooms. The plant name came from its leaves that look lung-shaped. It is also used in making medicine to cure lung ailments.

But, mostly this clumping plant is grown as perennial landscape flowers that bloom when most of the flowering plants do not show their face (buds).

Here, you’ll learn how to grow and care for lungwort plants in pots, containers, and gardens. This is a complete guide if you find this helpful Bookmark it for future reference.

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Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

The Lungwort plant belongs to the genus of low-growing plants. However, the plant’s stalks manage to grow up to 18 inches in height. Bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects love to roam around this plant. 

The leaves are green-colored and have a fine layer of fuzzy hair on them. 

Lungwort plant

The flowers have five petals with a bell or funnel-shaped blooms that are pinkish when they thrive and gradually become purplish; the color of the bloom or leaves depends on its variety of species. 

Some leaves have green hues that are mottled or spotted. After blooming season gets over, Lungwort works as a perennial, shrubby-evergreen foliage plant that usually grows up to 6 to 8 inches taller and spreads up 2 feet. Its flower blooms in late winter or early spring late only for one to two months.

If you’re interested in growing colorful foliage plants; Here list of the most beautiful foliage plants to grow.

When to grow

Lungwort grows best in the fall season and when with a moderate rate throughout the year.

Where to grow

The right location to plant them might be tricky but it’s important for the plant’s continuous and healthy growth. 

According to expected gardens, Lungwort plants do well when planted in the part shade area. The plant will appreciate it if planted underneath the tree, but they like to compete for moisture and should be water regularly. 

It can be planted along with garden walls, fences, or any support that provide them shade with a good water supply. 

Lungwort also tends to grow among the tall perennial plants that offer shade in the spring to summer transitions.

Quick Guide

Common NameLungwort, pulmonaria
Scientific NamePulmonaria spp.
Plant typeHerbaceous, perennial
Mature Size6-12 inches tall, 12-18 wide 
Sun ExposurePartial shade to Full shade
Soil TypeMoist, well-drained soil
Soil pHAcidic, neutral, or alkaline
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorBlue, pink, white
Hardiness Zones3 to 8 USDA 
Native AreaEurope and Asia

How to Grow Lungwort Plant

Garden Explored

Lungwort or Pulmonaria is easy to grow plant. It is mostly grown for its fuzzy, leaves silvery spotted foliage. The plant is used as an ornamental plant to decorate in medium size pots and containers.

The good thing about this plant, it not only has beautiful foliage texture but also colorful blooms that come in every spring season. The flowers only last for spring to mid-summer but after that, you got a classic foliage plant.

Lungwort is not a unique plant, you might have seen them in friends, family, and neighbors’ houses. You can get this plant or its varieties easily in a nearby nursery. You can also borrow a stem cutting from now on to propagate this plant. 

Lungwort grows at a moderate rate which helps to maintain its classic look. When the plant overspread the pot or container, you can control them simply by tying string or rope around its base foliage or cutting back the leaves. 

How to Propagate Lungwort Plant

You can Propagate lungwort from nursery plants, stem cutting, division, or seeds. 

However, propagation from seeds is not a good idea. As most of the modern plants are bred between different species to develop new color blooms or make them pests or diseases tolerant.

If you grow from seeds there are chances that the plant might not grow similar to its parent plant or wort do not grow at all. Also, growing from seeds is very time-consuming which might miss your chance to enjoy lungwort clumps of flowers in the blooming season.

The best method to propagate lungwort or pulmonaria is from division. This is the easiest and most effective propagation technique. Through division, you can grow multiple lungworts from a single plant. To divide:

  • First take a gardening spade and toss out the plant from the ground with its roots.
  • Shake the plant to loose soil from its root clumps. Try to remove as much soil as possible, so that it is easy to cut or separate.
  • Divide the plant into sections, cutting at least 5-6 inches taller in height.
  • Transplant these cuttings or plant divisions into different locations, pots or containers. If plants are planted in the same row, give 6-8 inches of gap between each plant to have good air circulation.
  • Plant the cuttings in soil and water thoroughly. In the beginning plants need more water to get established.
  • Water regularly to keep soil moist, after one month lungwort starts producing roots and becomes slightly water tolerant.

Transplant Lungwort

You can transplant lungwort from a pot to the garden or big containers for more growth. In the close boundary, the plant used to spread limited. Plant them as a garden border for an elegant look. You can’t suddenly transplant lungwort, as the plant is light sensitive. 

  • Before transplanting keep the plant outdoors to get them used to outside light.
  • In the beginning, keep 2 hours for two to three days.
  • First let the soil of the plant dry out, not too dry but good to toss it out.
  • Dip a hole where you want to transplant, remember the area does not receive much sunlight.
  • Fit the plant inside the hole and cover the roots with soil. Do not let any root be visible.
  • Sprinkle water around the plant thoroughly to make it established. 
  • The plant takes nearly 10-20 days to adapt to the new environment. Water plant regularly but do not overwater.

How to care for lungwort plant

Pulmonaria, close

Caring for lungwort is not very difficult but there are some ideal conditions where they thrive rapidly. Below are all types of conditions, the plant needs to have a happy growth cycle.

Soil 

Soil does well in humus soil which has a pH level in between neutral to slightly acidic, but they too survive in slightly alkaline soil. In short words, they do not care for the pH level of the soil much.

With that, the soil must have good drainage. Do not plant them in a water area. You can improve drainage of the soil by emerging organic matter into it. 

Organic materials like banana pill, tea bags, and eggshells create voids under the soil that helps in continuous water flow. 

Water

Lungwort needs moderate water to keep its roots healthy. They do not like over-watered soil or too dry soil. When planted indoors, water when the plant’s soil is dry. 

In the outdoors, usually due to rain you will not need to water them regularly. But, when there is no rain or in the summer season, water them regularly to keep them moist.

Keep in mind do not overwater to the point that the soil becomes soggy, this may cause root rot in the plant and it eventually dies.

Overwater is usually not a big issue in the garden or ground, as water flows deep down in the soil. But, in the container or pots, you have to control watering.

Light

Lungwort prefers to grow in part shade to full shade areas, but it does like low light conditions in early spring. This is because in the spring many trees produce leaves that filter sunlight before falling in lungwort.

The plant can be planted in the shade underneath perennial plants or trees. But, lungwort does not like to compile for moisture. When planting under the canopy of other plants, make sure you provide them with regular water. 

When planted in full sun, especially in warm climates, Lungwort leaves tend to scorch and get wilted, destroying their beauty. However, if you plant them in a dark place, where they rarely receive sunlight, it causes a reduction in the plant’s bloom size.

The ideal location to plant lungwort, under the shade where it receives indirect sunlight.

Pruning 

After the growing season, lungwort flowers and leaves tend to degrade. Deadhead them to keep the plant looking neat and clean. Cutting dried flower stalks and leaves also encourages new growth.

These degraded flowers and leaves may look dead but they keep sucking potential energy from the plant, cutting them back will redirect energy to grow new parts.

After the growing season (spring to mid-summer) lungwort, does not produce many flowers, so do not add fertilizer. 

Temperature and Humidity

Lobaria pulmonaria (Lobariaceae)

Lungwort plants tend to grow well in mild, cold temperatures and suffer in hot, humid weather. 

The plant starts growing as soon as all danger of frost is gone. In the spring season, it produces flowers. But, get wilted in the hot summer seasons. However, they should peak again when fall or cool season arrives. 

The plant grows hardy in hardiness zones 3 to 8 and annual in other zones.

Fertilizer

Lungwort plants do not require heavy fertilization, just sprinkle some all-purpose fertilizer around the plant in the spring season and they are good to go. You can also mix organic matter or compost in the soil to help them grow rapidly. 

They grow at a moderate pace, so do not feed them much fertilizer as this will cause problems.

Common Pest/Diseases

Lungwort does not have any notable pests and disease problems. However, the plant is susceptible to powdery mildew and slug damage that tends to abnormal growth and foliage damage. 

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that happens when plants are planted too close or overwater. Watering directly into the plant can also be one reason for fungal diseases.

To avoid, water directly on the base of the plant. And when planting leaves at least 6 to 8 inches of gap between each plant. If you’re a plant suffering from fungal diseases. Read an article on how to get rid of powdery mildew.

If slugs are often visible in your garden, you have to take a special major to prevent them. Slugs love to eat lungwort foliage and destroy its growth. Take essential steps to deter them.

Overall, caring for this plant is not very difficult. Make sure you provide them adequate water and shade with annual fertilization. 

Lungwort Varieties

Pulmonaria officinalis, Gevlekt Longkruid

Below are some popular varieties or cultivars of Lungwort that you can grow in the house these plants as stunning appears.

  • Pulmonaria ‘Smokey Blue’: this variety has silver-spotted foliage. Its flowers, in the beginning, are pink which gradually turns blue.
  • Pulmonaria ‘Roy Davidson’: this plant has dark green leaves with a white-silver spot. It can survive in dark shade asnd bloom pale blue color flowers.
  • Pulmonaria ‘Excalibur’: This variety forms clumps from its leaves. The leaves are in silver color (similar Dusty miller) with violet-blue flowers. 
  • Pulmonaria Officinalis ‘Sissinghurst White’: A long, speckled leaves plant that blooms pale pink buds which with time open to pure white blooms.
  • Pulmonaria ‘Spilled Milk’: this plant has firstly pink blooms and then turns blue. The leaves are grown tinged purple in the beginning and become white as they grow older.
  • Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’: This plant produces large flowers compared to other lungwort varieties and blooms from spring to summer. Thrive hardy in zones 4 to 7.
  • Pulmonaria ‘Trevi Fountain’: this plant is formed by cross-breeding two species named – Pulmonaria ‘Margery Fish’ and Pulmonaria ‘Bertram’. It has long clumpy, narrow silver spotted leaves with compact blue flower stalks, hardy in zones 4 to 8.
  • Pulmonaria ‘Silver Bouquet’: the variety is developed by breeding with Pulmonaria longifolia and Pulmonaria Saccharata, it leaves powdery mildew resistant leaves that are a very long, solid silver color. The plant blooms violet flowers and forms clumps of the top in the winter season. Grow hardy in zones 4-8.

Benefits of Lungwort

According to WebMD – Lungwort is used to prepare medicine for the treatment of breathing conditions, intestinal ailments, stomach and kidney, and urinary problems. Of course, you cannot make them at home but many people apply them directly to the skin to treat wounds as a drying agent.

Like lung moss, this plant is not tested for human consumption or to make tea. Do not confuse lungwort with Lungmoss. Although, it has no scent and bitter taste.

Is lungwort poisonous?

Lungwort is not reported to be toxic to any living creature including humans, dogs, cats, birds, horses, and deer. You can freely plant them in the garden. If you live in the woods deer or rabbits might eat them.

Did I Miss Anything?

Now I’d like to hear from you: which growing tip from today’s post are you going to try first?

Or maybe, I didn’t mention your favorite plant growing tip. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now. if you like this post do share it with your friends and family.

Before going if you want to grow beautiful flowers in your garden? Then click on these articles also.

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