Pulmonaria Growing Guide

Pulmonaria saccharata, Pulmonaria angustifolia, Pulmonaria longifolia, Pulmonaria 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.

Frost tolerant

Yes, most pulmonarias are hardy perennials, though cold tolerance varies with cultivar. The hardiest pulmonarias tolerate cold to -34°C (-30°F).


Drench with a liquid organic fertiliser after blooms fade in late spring.


Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 30cm (11") 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 colour. 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 autumn. 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 autumn.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised 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