Balloon flower cultivation | Flower gardening

Balloon flower cultivation |  Flower gardening

How to grow a balloon flower

Female ruby-throated hummingbird at the balloon flower
  • Common Name: Balloon flower, Chinese bellflower, Japanese bellflower
  • The scientific name: Platycodon grandiflorus
  • Hardiness zones: 3 to 8
  • Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade
  • Watering Needs: There is usually no need for additional water once established
  • Preferred soil: Well-drained, moist soil
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall, 1 to 1 1/2 feet wide
  • Pollinators: bees and butterflies

Although Latin botanical names are the best way to talk about flowers, since common names vary greatly, some common names are still very interesting and definitely worth knowing. balloon flower(Platycodon grandiflorus) is a great example. Once you see one of these plants covered in balloon-shaped buds and getting ready to burst, you’ll know exactly where the common name comes from. These plants are a great choice for your home garden.

Are balloon flowers perennial plants?

Balloon flowerCourtesy Scott Breach
These long-lived perennials do not like to be moved or divided.

These clump-forming perennials are members of the low-maintenance campanula family. Growing a balloon flower is very easy; It will thrive in almost any garden and is hardy up to zone 3.

Where to grow balloon flowers?

250862595 1 Cheryl Fleming BNP Bypc2020Courtesy Cheryl Fleming
Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil.

For the most blooms, plant balloon flowers in locations with part to full sun with adequate drainage, says Gene McGinnis, author of Bird-friendly gardening: Tips and projects for supporting birds in your landscape. “I grow pink balloon roses in my front garden in soil that drains quickly after rain. They are planted with bearded irises and daylilies in a part-sun location.

A little afternoon shade can help the plant tolerate hot summer weather.

In cold areas, the plant dies back to the ground in winter. They are often one of the late perennials that emerge in the spring, so you may want to mark the spot in some way so as not to overplant them. And choose that spot wisely – balloon roses don’t like to be transplanted or divided because of their long taproot.

“The plant is slow to emerge in the spring, so make sure you don’t accidentally remove it when the garden season starts. It does best in a place where it won’t be moved. It’s been mine for several years! says Jane.

For more blue beauty, plant delphiniums in your flower garden.

When to plant balloon flowers?

253014287 1 Pam Rendall Bass BNP Bypc2020Courtesy Pam Rendall
Unopened flower buds look like inflated balloons.

If you want to start with a batch of seeds, remember that they may flower the first year. It will be easier if you start with plants from your local garden center. Add them to your flower beds in the spring after all danger of frost has passed.

They should begin blooming in mid to late summer, and will continue to produce regular, dead-headed flowers. This is basically all the care they will need. Deadheading will also prevent the plants from self-seeding and spreading.

If you want to save the seeds, wait until the pods turn brown and dry completely, then open them in a paper bag. Sow the seeds directly into your garden the following spring.

Irrigation needs

Bnbbyc16 March Session 002Courtesy Mar Sension
Platycodon grandiflorus It is famous for its star-shaped blue flowers.

New plants need regular watering while they are growing in the garden, but after that they are fairly drought tolerant and disease resistant.

Can you grow balloon flowers in containers?

Plants grow well in large containers as long as the container is deep enough to accommodate the plant’s long taproot; Usually 10 to 12 inches is deep enough. Make sure the container you choose has a drainage hole so the potting mixture does not become soggy.

The best varieties to grow

Astra blue balloon flowerCourtesy of Proven Winners, Provenwinners.com
“Astra Blue”

The most common flowers are shades of blue, but pink and white flower varieties are also available. Recommended blue-violet flowering varieties include Astra Blue, Fuji Blue, and Sentimental Blue.

In most conditions, the balloon flower will grow up to 2 feet tall; Look for dwarf varieties for small gardens and containers.

“The pink balloon flower is shorter than some blue varieties, so it works well along a garden path as an edging plant. It starts blooming in early summer,” says Jin.

Wildlife benefits

308423846 1 Michael Mills BNB BBC 2022Courtesy Michael Mills
Pollinators will visit these flowers.

The colorful flowers attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators, but deer usually leave these plants alone.

“The balloon flower is my all-time favorite flower. The bees love it, and it dies easily. Plus, it will bloom almost all summer long and into the warm fall.” Birds and flowers Reader Susan Steele from Livonia, Michigan.

About the expert

Just McGuinness He is the author of the recently released gardening book, “Bird-Friendly Gardening: Tips and Projects for Supporting Birds in Your Landscape“, published by Cool Springs Press/Quarto Knows.

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