Family: Lungwort

Type: Perennial

Other Common Name: Bethlehem Sage, Soldiers and Sailors

Lungwort Pulmonaria, scientifically known as Pulmonaria spp., is a charming perennial favored for its attractive foliage and vibrant flowers. This shade-loving plant features unique spotted or silver-marked leaves, providing visual interest even when not in bloom. Its flowers, which bloom in early spring, range from pink to blue, adding a splash of color to the garden.

Commonly growing to about 12 inches in height and spreading up to 24 inches, Lungwort Pulmonaria is ideal for filling in shady spots in the garden. It thrives under tree canopies, in woodland gardens, or in shaded borders. This plant is particularly loved by gardeners for its low-maintenance nature and its ability to brighten up dim areas.

Lungwort Pulmonaria is known for its adaptability and resilience. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and thrives in partial to full shade. This perennial is a great choice for adding texture and color to challenging shady areas in the landscape.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 3a-8b

Deer Resistant: Yes

Moisture Preference: Moist

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade


Growth Rate: Medium

Average Height (feet): 1

Average Spread (feet): 1

Average Life Span (years): 4

Form: Spreading


Flower Color: Pink

Bloom Season: Spring to early summer

Foliage Color: Green

Foliage Shape: Oval

Landscaping Your Yard With Lungwort Pulmonaria

Lungwort Pulmonaria is perfect for use as an underplanting for taller shrubs or small trees. Its unique foliage and spring blooms enhance the understory of garden landscapes. Plant it in groups or drifts for a more impactful display in woodland settings or shaded borders.

Incorporate this plant into perennial beds and borders. It works well as a border plant, providing early-season color and interesting foliage throughout the growing season. Its compact size and shade tolerance make it a suitable choice for adding layers to these areas.

Lungwort Pulmonaria can also be used effectively in container gardening, especially in shaded patios or balconies. Its attractive foliage and flowers make it a great option for adding interest to these areas.


Suitable Garden Styles

Cottage Garden

Lungwort Pulmonaria fits beautifully in cottage garden designs. Its informal growth habit and vibrant flowers complement the relaxed, colorful style of cottage gardens.

Woodland Garden

In woodland gardens, Lungwort Pulmonaria thrives. It blends seamlessly with other shade-loving plants, adding color and interest under tree canopies.

Formal Garden

Lungwort Pulmonaria can also find a place in formal gardens. Its structured leaf arrangement and symmetrical flower clusters can add a touch of elegance to formal shade gardens.

Lungwort Pulmonaria Landscaping Ideas

Plant Lungwort Pulmonaria along shaded walkways or garden paths. Its presence softens the landscape and adds a pop of color. Pair it with ferns and hostas for a lush, layered look in shade gardens.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, Lungwort Pulmonaria's foliage emerges, followed by its charming flowers. The plant quickly becomes a focal point in the spring garden.


During summer, after blooming, Lungwort Pulmonaria continues to provide lush greenery with its spotted or silver-marked leaves.


In the fall, the foliage of Lungwort Pulmonaria may turn yellow, adding autumnal interest before the plant goes dormant.


In winter, Lungwort Pulmonaria becomes dormant. While it may lose its leaves in colder climates, the plant's structure still provides some interest in the winter landscape.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Lungwort Pulmonaria flourishes in shady to partially shady areas, making it perfect for woodland gardens, under tree canopies, or north-facing garden beds. It’s an excellent choice for adding interest to these typically difficult-to-plant areas.


This plant prefers partial to full shade. While it can tolerate some morning sun, too much direct sunlight can scorch its leaves, so shaded areas are ideal.


Lungwort Pulmonaria thrives in moist, well-drained soil. It prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH but is relatively adaptable to different soil conditions as long as the soil is not waterlogged.


Space plants about 12-18 inches apart. This spacing allows for their natural growth and spread, ensuring healthy air circulation and room for growth.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Lungwort Pulmonaria is in the spring or early fall. Cooler temperatures during these seasons help the plant establish itself without the stress of extreme heat.

How to Plant

Plant at the same depth it was in the nursery pot. Loosen the soil around the planting hole to encourage root expansion. Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil.

Plant Care Tips


Regular watering is important, especially in dry conditions, to keep the soil consistently moist. However, avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.


Fertilize Lungwort Pulmonaria in early spring with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer to promote healthy growth and flowering.


Deadheading spent flowers can encourage a second bloom. Cut back the foliage in late fall or early winter to tidy up the plant.

By Season


Spring Care

In spring, remove any dead or damaged foliage and apply fertilizer to encourage new growth. Keep the soil moist as the plant begins to grow.

Summer Care

During summer, continue to ensure adequate moisture. Deadhead spent blooms to maintain a tidy appearance and possibly encourage further flowering. Protect the plant from extreme heat by providing additional water during particularly hot or dry periods.

Fall Care

In fall, reduce watering as the plant begins to go dormant. This is also a good time to tidy up the plant by trimming back any overgrown foliage.

Winter Care

During winter, Lungwort Pulmonaria requires minimal care. The plant is dormant during this season and does not require additional watering or maintenance unless the climate is extremely dry.


How Long Does Lungwort Pulmonaria Bloom?

Lungwort Pulmonaria typically blooms in early spring, with the flowering period lasting several weeks. Proper care and deadheading can sometimes encourage a second, albeit lighter, bloom later in the season.

Is Lungwort Pulmonaria Deer Resistant?

Lungwort Pulmonaria is considered moderately deer resistant. While no plant is completely deer-proof, its textured leaves are generally not the first choice for deer.

Can Lungwort Pulmonaria Be Divided?

Yes, Lungwort Pulmonaria can be divided to propagate the plant or rejuvenate an older, overgrown clump. The best time to divide is in the spring or early fall. This helps the divisions establish themselves without the stress of extreme temperatures.

Products That Feature This Plant

Made for the Shade

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