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Lungwort: Growing And Caring For A Pulmonaria Plant

The Pulmonaria Lungwort plant is a gorgeous ornamental plant that can be found in most parts of East and Western Asia, as well as in parts of  Europe. 


A member of the Boraginaceae family, the pulmonaria features spotted green leaves which produce purple or bluish blooms that are carried by tall stalks. 

Its flowering blooms, which are bell or funnel-shaped, grow well in shaded areas and that is why the pulmonaria plant is recognized as a shade plant. 

Be careful with the sap of lungwort plants as they are toxic when eaten by both pets and people.

Botanical NamePulmonaria spp
Common NamesPulmonaria, Lungwort 
OriginWest, East Asia, Europe
Plant TypeHerbaceous perennial flowering plant
Full SizeFrom 6 inches to 12 inches tall, from 12 inches to 18 inches wide
Sun ExposureRanges from partial shade to full shade
Soil TypeWell-draining but moist soil 
ToxicityToxic to pets and people when eaten

Lungwort Varieties

Pulmonaria genus is home to 18 different cultivars which are oftentimes hybrids. Here are a few popular varieties;

  • Pulmonaria Trevi fountain
  • Pulmonaria spilled milk 
  • Pulmonaria Excalibur
  • Pulmonaria Roy Davidson
  • Pulmonaria Raspberry flash

Lungwort Plant Care

Lungwort Plant Care

Taking good care of Pulmonaria lungwort plants is easy when you have a decent understanding of its various requirements with regards to lighting, watering, soil type and temperature. 

Lighting Requirements for Pulmonaria 

Pulmonarias are shade plants that do well in shade areas. However, they do require a little light intensity for them to flourish and produce enough blooms.

It does help to regulate the amount of lighting the spotted lungwort plant receives. You can do this by growing the potted plant in a room right next to a window facing eastwards.

Here, the lungwort leaves can soak up a little morning sunlight. During the afternoon or midday, you should relocate the plant to an area of full or partial shade. 

Prolonged exposure to the Lungwort plant is bad as it can cause wilting of its leaves and could also scorch them.

Watering Your Lungworts

Avoid soggy soil as much as possible when growing the lungwort plant. Aim for soil that is kept moist at all times. 

You can achieve this by letting the topmost part of the soil dry a little before the next watering session. Make use of a moisture meter to help check the soil’s moisture level.

Keep watering once or twice a week during the hot periods. During the winter season, limit watering the plant to once a month. 

If you leave the potted plant sitting in soggy soil for too long, you risk opening its roots to rot. Also, ensure you use dechlorinated room temperature water. 

Soil Requirements for Lungworts

Soil Requirements for Lungworts
Garden Pics and Tips

The Ideal soil type for Lungworts are well-draining soil that is rich in organic nutrients to encourage proper growth. 

A healthy mix of good potting soil, peat moss, a little mulch, and some organic compost should be perfect for your pulmonaria.

Soil pH is an important part of lungwort care. It is recommended that you keep the pH value between the range of 7.0 to 8.0 

Ideal Temperature and Humidity for Pulmonaria  

Temperature and humidity should be kept in moderation when it comes to growing the Lungwort plant. 

When exposed to excess heat, the pulmonaria lungwort plant can end up droopy. It isn’t frost-hardy but can tolerate a little cold.

Fertilizing Lungworts  

The lungwort plant can survive with fertilizer if organic compost is added to the soil mixture. If not, limit fertilizer application to once a month. 

Use an all-purpose fertilizer when fertilizing the lungwort plant and ensure you sprinkle a little as excess could stop plant growth. 

Propagating Lungworts

A lot of the Lungworts varieties that exist are hybrid cultivars and as such cannot be propagated through seed. This leaves gardeners to propagate through root division.

Ensure you wear protective gloves when propagating or dealing with the pulmonaria plant, as the sap can cause irritation on the skin. 

Pruning Lungwort Plants

Pruning Lungwort Plants
What Grows There

Pruning is essential for a proper vibrant look when it comes to the Lungwort flower. Cut back dead flowers from the stalk to encourage new growth and the same applies to the leaves.

It helps to sterilize your pruning tools before pruning the pulmonaria plant, so as to avoid causing an infection on its delicate leaves. 

Common Health Problems of the Pulmonaria Plant

  • Slugs
  • Powdery mildew
  • Root Rot
  • Droopy Leaves
  • Wilting Leaves

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lungwort invasive?

No, lungworts aren’t regarded as invasive plants.

What are lungworts used for?

Lungworts are ornamental plants that are also used in flower beds. 

Where can I find lungwort?

You can find Lungworts growing in areas with a little humidity like forests.

What zone does lungwort grow in?

Lungworts grow well in USDA zones from zone 5 to zone 8

Is comfrey the same as lungwort?

No, the comfrey plant also comes from the same Boriganceae family, but they aren’t the same plant.