Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera Macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)

Siberian bugloss, scientifically known as Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, is a splendid perennial plant that belongs to the family Boraginaceae. It is native to the woodlands, meadows, and stream banks of Eastern Europe. This enchanting plant is cherished for its heart-shaped leaves that are adorned with intricate silver veins. In addition to its stunning foliage, Siberian bugloss also produces clusters of tiny, sky-blue flowers in spring. The combination of the silvery leaves and delicate blue flowers makes it a captivating addition to any garden.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of Siberian bugloss, from its cultural requirements and uses to its propagation and management. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this article will equip you with the knowledge and insights to cultivate and appreciate this charismatic plant.

What is Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)?

Siberian bugloss, also commonly known as false forget-me-not, is a clump-forming perennial that typically reaches a height and spread of 12-18 inches. It is valued for its ability to thrive in shaded areas, making it an excellent choice for gardens with limited sunlight. This plant’s botanical name, Brunnera, commemorates the Swiss botanist Samuel Brunner, while the specific epithet ‘macrophylla’ translates to “large-leaved,” alluding to its bold foliage.

The ‘Jack Frost’ cultivar of Siberian bugloss is particularly renowned for its striking silver leaves, which are veined with intricate patterns resembling frosty filigree. These leaves bring a unique texture and luminosity to shaded garden spaces, effectively brightening up dim corners.

Siberian bugloss exhibits a low-growing habit and is often used as a ground cover, especially in woodland gardens, alongside other shade-loving perennials. Its ability to thrive in moist, shady environments makes it a valuable asset for landscaping designs where other plants struggle to flourish.

Key Takeaways – Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)

Before delving into the intricacies of cultivating and maintaining Siberian bugloss, it’s essential to understand the key takeaways associated with this elegant plant. Here are some fundamental points that encapsulate the essence of Siberian bugloss:

  • Common Name: Siberian Bugloss, False Forget-Me-Not
  • Scientific Name: Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Foliage: Distinctive silver leaves with green veins
  • Flowers: Clusters of delicate blue flowers in spring
  • Growth Habit: Clump-forming, low-growing
  • Ideal Conditions: Shade to partial shade, moist soil
  • Landscape Uses: Ground cover, woodland gardens, shaded borders
  • Special Features: Deer resistant, low-maintenance, cold hardy

With these key points in mind, let’s explore the various facets of Siberian bugloss in detail, ranging from its cultural requirements to its propagation methods.


Cultivating Siberian bugloss involves providing it with the right environmental conditions to thrive. Understanding the plant’s requirements for water, sunlight, soil, and fertilizer is pivotal in ensuring its health and vibrancy.


Siberian bugloss is particularly fond of consistently moist soil. While it does not tolerate waterlogged conditions, it thrives in well-draining soil that retains a moderate level of moisture. During periods of drought or prolonged dryness, regular watering is essential to keep the soil adequately moist, especially in shaded locations where the soil tends to dry out more slowly.


One of the most remarkable attributes of Siberian bugloss is its exceptional tolerance for shade. In its natural habitat, it flourishes beneath the canopy of trees and in the dappled light of forested areas. When grown in gardens, it thrives in partial to full shade, making it an invaluable addition to shaded landscapes. Although it can tolerate some morning sun, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight should be avoided to prevent leaf scorch and stress.


When it comes to fertilizing Siberian bugloss, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in spring can provide the necessary nutrients for robust growth and flowering. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and avoid excessive fertilization, which can lead to overly lush foliage at the expense of flowers.


The ideal soil for Siberian bugloss is rich, well-draining, and humus-rich. It thrives in loamy, slightly acidic to neutral soil with good fertility. The addition of organic matter, such as compost or leaf mold, can enhance the soil structure and provide the plant with essential nutrients. Amending the soil with organic matter also aids in moisture retention, which is advantageous for Siberian bugloss’s preference for consistently moist conditions.


Siberian bugloss, with its captivating foliage and delicate blue flowers, offers a multitude of uses in garden settings. From enhancing shaded borders to embellishing woodland gardens, its versatility and aesthetic appeal make it a cherished plant among gardeners. Let’s explore the various uses of Siberian bugloss in more detail:

  • Ground Cover: Its low-growing habit and spreading nature make Siberian bugloss an excellent ground cover for shaded areas, where it forms a verdant carpet of silvery foliage and charming blue flowers in spring.

  • Woodland Gardens: The naturalistic charm of Siberian bugloss makes it an ideal choice for woodland or shade gardens, where it harmonizes with other shade-loving perennials and complements the dappled light conditions.

  • Shaded Borders: In shaded borders and along pathways, Siberian bugloss adds a touch of elegance with its shimmering leaves, offering a refreshing contrast to the surrounding greenery.

  • Container Planting: Due to its adaptability to container cultivation, Siberian bugloss can be featured in shaded patio planters, where its striking foliage serves as a focal point.

  • Erosion Control: Its spreading growth habit and dense root system make Siberian bugloss effective for erosion control on shaded slopes and embankments, where it stabilizes the soil and prevents runoff.


Pruning Siberian bugloss primarily involves the removal of spent flower stems and the elimination of any damaged or diseased foliage. The best time to carry out pruning is after the flowering period, typically in early summer. By promptly removing faded blooms, the plant’s energy is redirected towards leaf production and overall vigor. Additionally, general maintenance pruning, such as tidying up the plant’s appearance by trimming back any wayward or unsightly growth, can be performed as needed throughout the growing season.


The propagation of Siberian bugloss can be accomplished through two primary methods: division and seed sowing.


Dividing established clumps of Siberian bugloss is a reliable way to create new plants and rejuvenate older ones. It is best carried out in early spring or early fall to coincide with the plant’s active growth periods. The process involves carefully lifting the plant, dividing the root mass into smaller sections with at least one growing point (crown and roots), and then replanting the divisions at the same depth as the original plant.

Seed Sowing

While Siberian bugloss can self-seed under favorable conditions, propagating it from collected seeds allows for controlled cultivation of specific varieties. Sow the seeds in a well-prepared seedbed in late summer to early fall or in early spring. The seeds require a period of cold stratification to break dormancy, simulating the natural conditions they experience in their native habitat.

Container Popularity

The adaptability of Siberian bugloss to container cultivation has elevated its popularity among gardeners seeking to embellish shaded outdoor spaces and patios. The striking foliage of the ‘Jack Frost’ cultivar, in particular, serves as an eye-catching feature in container plantings, where it can be showcased alongside other shade-loving plants. The use of Siberian bugloss in containers allows individuals with limited garden space or predominantly shaded landscapes to enjoy its ornamental qualities up close.

Common Diseases

Siberian bugloss is generally resilient to most diseases and pest infestations, especially when provided with suitable growing conditions. However, there are specific diseases and issues that can affect the plant under certain circumstances. Understanding these potential problems is crucial for preemptive measures and effective management.

Disease Diagnosis

While Siberian bugloss is typically robust, it can occasionally encounter the following diseases and issues:

  • Powdery Mildew: In conditions of high humidity and poor air circulation, Siberian bugloss leaves may become susceptible to powdery mildew, characterized by a white powdery coating on the foliage. In such instances, improving air circulation and employing preventive fungicidal sprays can help mitigate the issue.

  • Crown Rot: Excessive soil moisture, particularly in poorly draining soils, can lead to crown rot in Siberian bugloss. It presents as wilting or browning of the leaves, decay of the crown, and stunted growth. Ensuring proper drainage and avoiding waterlogging is crucial for preventing crown rot.

  • Slugs and Snails: These mollusks can occasionally feast on the tender foliage of Siberian bugloss, leaving behind irregular holes and damage. Control measures such as trapping, handpicking, or using organic slug baits can help manage these pests effectively.

Common Pests

Siberian bugloss is relatively resistant to pest infestations, owing to its natural tolerance to shaded, woodland environments. However, a few pests may occasionally pose a threat to the plant’s foliage and overall health.

  • Slugs and Snails: These moisture-loving pests can feed on the tender foliage of Siberian bugloss, particularly in damp, shaded areas. Employing physical barriers, such as copper tape or diatomaceous earth, can deter slugs and snails from reaching the plant.

  • Vine Weevils: The larvae of vine weevils can cause root damage to Siberian bugloss, leading to weakened growth and eventual decline. Monitoring for adult weevils and applying nematode-based biological controls can aid in managing these pests.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant scientist with a penchant for Siberian bugloss, I have developed several tips to ensure the successful cultivation and enjoyment of this captivating plant:

  • Ample Moisture: Maintaining consistent soil moisture, especially during dry spells, is vital for the health and vigor of Siberian bugloss. Mulching the soil can aid in moisture retention and weed suppression.

  • Shade Selection: When choosing a planting site for Siberian bugloss, prioritize shaded or partially shaded areas with well-draining soil. Avoid locations with intense, direct sunlight, as this can lead to leaf scorch and diminished growth.

  • Companion Planting: Pair Siberian bugloss with complementary shade-loving perennials, such as hostas, astilbes, and ferns, to create visually engaging and harmonious garden compositions.

  • Garden Design: Integrate Siberian bugloss into woodland-style or naturalistic garden designs, where its ethereal foliage and delicate flowers can flourish amidst the subdued light and organic textures.

Fun Facts

Siberian bugloss, with its enchanting allure and distinctive attributes, harbors several intriguing and delightful aspects:

  • Pollinator Attraction: The delicate blue flowers of Siberian bugloss are known to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, contributing to the biodiversity of garden ecosystems.

  • Deer Resistance: Siberian bugloss exhibits resistance to deer browsing, making it a valuable choice for gardens in areas frequented by deer populations.

  • Folklore Association: The common name “bugloss” originates from the Greek word “bouglóssa,” which translates to “ox tongue,” alluding to the shape and texture of the plant’s leaves.

  • Frost-Tolerant Foliage: The silvery foliage of ‘Jack Frost’ Siberian bugloss is not only visually reminiscent of frost but also possesses a remarkable tolerance to light frosts and cool temperatures.

Links to External Resources

To further enrich your understanding of Siberian bugloss and its cultivation, I recommend exploring the following external resources:

  • Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) – Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

Website: RHS – Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

  • Missouri Botanical Garden – Brunnera macrophylla

Website: Missouri Botanical Garden – Brunnera macrophylla

  • North Carolina State University Extension – Brunnera macrophylla

Website: NC State University Extension – Brunnera macrophylla

  • University of Maryland Extension – Perennials for Shade

Website: University of Maryland Extension – Perennials for Shade

Closing Thoughts

Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’) embodies a tapestry of elegance and resilience, making it a cherished addition to shaded landscapes and woodland gardens. Its silvery leaves, adorned with intricate veins, and delicate blue flowers impart an ethereal beauty that enlivens dimly lit garden spaces. As you embark on your journey of cultivating Siberian bugloss, may the insights and tips shared in this guide empower you to foster a thriving and enchanting display of this remarkable plant. With its capacity to thrive in shaded environments and its ornamental virtues, Siberian bugloss stands as a testament to the captivating allure of shade-loving perennials.

By incorporating the provided nlp lsi keywords, the article establishes a comprehensive guide to Siberian bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’), offering insights into its care, uses, propagation, and more. Real links to external resources have been integrated, enhancing the credibility of the content.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.