Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera ‘Silver Charm’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera ‘Silver Charm’)


Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Charm’, commonly known as Siberian bugloss, is a charming and versatile perennial that adds elegance and beauty to any garden. This plant is cherished for its heart-shaped leaves and delicate, airy flowers that resemble forget-me-nots, making it a popular choice for gardeners seeking a plant that thrives in shaded areas. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the cultural requirements, uses, propagation, and maintenance tips for Siberian bugloss, providing valuable insights for anyone interested in cultivating this stunning plant.

What is Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera ‘Silver Charm’)?

Siberian bugloss, scientifically known as Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Charm’, belongs to the Boraginaceae family and is native to western Asia, particularly from Siberia to northwestern China. It is a clump-forming perennial that typically reaches a height of 12 to 18 inches and spreads to about 18 to 24 inches. The genus name “Brunnera” honors the Swiss botanist Samuel Brunner, and the specific epithet “macrophylla” refers to the plant’s large leaves.

The ‘Silver Charm’ variety stands out with its striking silver leaves adorned with intricate green veining, creating a mesmerizing effect in the garden. In addition to its foliage, this variety produces charming clusters of small, sky-blue flowers in early to mid-spring, which contribute to its allure and appeal.

Key Takeaways – Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera ‘Silver Charm’)


  • Hardiness Zone: Siberian bugloss is well-suited for USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8.
  • Growth Habit: Clump-forming, herbaceous perennial.
  • Foliage: Silver heart-shaped leaves with green veining.
  • Flowers: Delicate clusters of sky-blue flowers resembling forget-me-nots.


  • Shade Garden: Ideal for adding interest and color to shaded areas.
  • Groundcover: Forms a dense carpet of foliage, suppressing weeds and creating a lush underplanting.
  • Borders and Edges: Adds a touch of elegance and texture to borders and woodland edges.
  • Containers: Thrives in containers, providing a striking focal point for patio or terrace displays.


Siberian bugloss prefers consistently moist but well-drained soil. It is important to ensure that the plant receives adequate water, particularly during dry spells, to support healthy growth. However, it is essential to avoid waterlogged conditions, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other issues.


  • Light Requirements: Partial to full shade.
  • Optimal Conditions: Thrives in dappled shade or areas with morning sun and afternoon shade.
  • Leaf Scorch: Protect from intense afternoon sun to prevent leaf scorch.


  • Soil Enrichment: Amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to provide essential nutrients.
  • Fertilization Schedule: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring before new growth emerges.


Siberian bugloss prefers humus-rich, well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Incorporating organic matter into the planting site not only improves soil structure but also enhances the plant’s overall performance. Additionally, a fertile and moisture-retentive soil promotes vigorous growth and abundant flowering.


Minimal pruning is required for Siberian bugloss. However, removing spent flower stems after blooming can help maintain a tidy appearance and stimulate potential reblooms. In late winter or early spring, it is beneficial to cut back any damaged or unsightly foliage to encourage fresh growth.


Siberian bugloss can be propagated through division or by collecting and sowing seeds. The following methods can be employed for successful propagation:


  1. In early spring or fall, carefully dig up the clump of Siberian bugloss.
  2. Gently divide the clump into smaller sections, ensuring each division has several healthy shoots and a portion of the root system.
  3. Replant the divisions in prepared soil, keeping the planting depth consistent with the original depth.

Seed Collection and Sowing

  1. Collect mature seeds when the seed heads have turned brown.
  2. Sow the seeds in containers or seed trays filled with a well-draining seed starting mix.
  3. Place the containers in a sheltered location with indirect light and maintain consistent moisture.
  4. Once the seedlings have developed several leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots and eventually into the garden.

Container Popularity

Siberian bugloss is a popular choice for container gardening, adding a unique and eye-catching element to patio and balcony displays. Its compact growth habit and attractive foliage make it well-suited for container cultivation, providing an opportunity to appreciate its beauty up close. When grown in containers, Siberian bugloss benefits from regular watering and occasional feeding to support its growth and vitality.

Common Diseases

While Siberian bugloss is relatively resistant to diseases, it can occasionally encounter issues such as leaf spot and powdery mildew. Implementing good cultural practices and ensuring proper air circulation can help prevent these diseases. Additionally, avoiding overhead watering and promptly removing any affected foliage can aid in managing these issues effectively.

Disease Diagnosis

When diagnosing diseases in Siberian bugloss, it is crucial to observe any abnormalities in the foliage, such as spots, lesions, or unusual discoloration. Conducting a thorough inspection of the plant and being vigilant for any signs of disease can aid in early detection and timely intervention. Consulting with local extension services or plant health professionals can provide valuable guidance in accurately diagnosing and addressing potential diseases.

Common Pests

Siberian bugloss is relatively resistant to pests, but it may occasionally attract slugs and snails, particularly in moist and shaded environments. These pests can cause damage to the foliage by feeding on the leaves, resulting in unsightly holes and damage. Employing cultural and mechanical controls, such as handpicking or using slug and snail repellents, can effectively manage these pests and protect the plant from harm.

Botanist’s Tips

To ensure the optimal growth and performance of Siberian bugloss, consider the following botanist’s tips:

  • Humidity Control: In regions with high humidity, provide adequate air circulation to prevent issues such as powdery mildew.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or compost, around the base of the plant to help conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Foliage Protection: Shield the foliage from direct midday sun to prevent leaf scorch and promote healthy growth.

Fun Facts

  • The common name “bugloss” is derived from the Greek word “bouglas,” which means “ox tongue,” referencing the rough texture of the leaves.
  • Siberian bugloss is valued for its ability to naturalize and thrive in woodland settings, creating enchanting displays under trees and alongside other shade-loving plants.

Links to External Resources

To further expand your knowledge and appreciation of Siberian bugloss, explore the following external resources:


Siberian bugloss (Brunnera ‘Silver Charm’) stands out as an exceptional perennial plant that captivates with its striking foliage and delicate flowers. As a versatile addition to shaded gardens, borders, and containers, it offers a wealth of possibilities for enhancing outdoor spaces. By understanding its cultural requirements, uses, and maintenance guidelines, gardeners can cultivate Siberian bugloss with confidence, creating enchanting displays and enjoying its enduring beauty season after season.

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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.