How to Grow Nolana Plants

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Chilean Bell Flower

Nolana plants are hardy annuals and perennial desert plants

They range in height from 20 to 90 cm (8 to 36 inches).

Nolana mollis
Nolana mollis by Felipecancino; creative commons.

Plants bloom in summer, when they carry trumpet-like flowers

Nolano elegans
Nolana elegans (Blue flowers; the purple ones are Alstromeria) by Valerio Pillar; creative commons.

Nolana Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Chilean bell flower
Life Cycle: Hardy Annual. Half Hardy Perennial commonly grown as a Half Hardy Annual by gardeners.
Height: 8 to 36 inches (20 to 90 cm).
Native: South America.
Northern America: Zones 2 to 8. As a perennial in zones 9 to 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Blue, Purple, pink. Centers are usually white and veined yellow or purple. Trumpets.
Foliage: Lanceolate.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Following the last frost. Spacing 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm).
Sow Inside: Best started outdoors. Use peat pots. Germination time: one week to one month. Temperature 65 to 70°F (18 to 21°C). Five or six weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Sandy soil. Gravel. Poor soils. Can survive in dry soils; is extremely drought tolerant.
Family: Solanaceae.
Miscellaneous: The lower surface of the leaves excretes salt. It uses this to trap moisture. This enables it to exist in extremely dry areas such as the Pan de Azucar.

Further Information on Nolana Plants

Research into the desert plant Nolana mollis can be found at the Holbrook lab.

Common Questions

How many members does the Nolana genus contain?

The Nolana genus contains about 90 species, known for their beautiful, bell-shaped flowers and trailing growth habit.

Do Nolana members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Definitely! Nolana are excellent as groundcovers, for rock gardens, or trailing over walls. They're particularly useful in coastal gardens due to their salt tolerance.

Which Nolana species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species is Nolana paradoxa (Chilean bellflower), appreciated for its striking blue to violet flowers and ability to withstand seaside conditions.

Are Nolana plants fragrant?

Nolana flowers are not typically fragrant, but their vibrant colors make up for it, offering an excellent visual display in the garden.

What is the perfect location to grow Nolana?

Nolana prefer a sunny location with well-drained, sandy soil. They are tolerant of drought and seaside conditions, making them great for challenging sites.

Is Nolana invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Nolana is not considered invasive in the USA. However, like any plant, it should be monitored to prevent unwanted spreading.

How do I remove Nolana plants from my garden?

Nolana plants can be removed manually by pulling or digging up. To control spreading, ensure that fallen seeds are cleaned up regularly.


Nolana, commonly known as Chilean bellflower, belongs to the Nolanales family. It consists of annual or perennial plants noted for their bell or funnel-shaped flowers, coming in a variety of vibrant colors.

Nolana grows best in a location with full sun and sandy, well-drained soil. Plant them in the spring after the last frost for a summer of colourful blooms. These hardy plants are drought-tolerant, making them suitable for rock gardens, borders, or as ground cover in sunny, dry areas.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Nolana plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Petunia hybrida, Papyrus plant, and Eggplant plants.