There are not too many richly coloured blue flowers, but this is certainly one of them. Native to Japan and China, Platycodon grandiflora is a very floriferous, robust, long lived perennial that produces handfuls of puffy blue flowers.
Beginning at the tips of the stems, buds slowly swell into 2 inch "balloons", which pop open into bell-shaped flowers. The colour is fantastic: lavender-violet flowers accented with darker violet veins. Great for the front of the border and perfect as a cut flower. Allow to ramble in sunny areas, encourage to twine through low shrubs or stake in the middle of the border to create arching sprays.
It has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Sowing: Sow late winter to late spring or late summer to autumn
Sow the seed thinly on the surface of lightly firmed, moist seed compost in pots, cells or trays.
“Just cover” with a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite.
Keep at a temperature of between 18 to 22°C (65 to 70°F)
Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged; water from beneath the tray.
Sealing the container inside a polythene bag after sowing is beneficial, keeping the compost suitable moist. Germination is rapid, between 14 to 21 days
Then large enough to handle, usually 4 to 6 weeks after germination, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots.
At transplanting stage, the plant can be cut back, to encourage a more compact, bushy plant
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 38cm (15in) apart. For best results, provide any ordinary, well-drained soil in full sun.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance. Cut flower
If you want a long lasting cut flower, sear the cut end of the stem with a flame before placing in water.
Platycodon grandiflora is a species of perennial flowering plant of the family Campanulaceae and the only member of the genus Platycodon.
It takes its name from the Greek "πλατυκώδων", meaning “a broad bell'.
The word ‘platy’ is a prefix signifying flat, broad or wide.
The name grandiflora simply means ‘large flowered’
This species is known as Platycodon or Chinese bellflower. Depending upon the region, it is also referred to as the Japanese bellflower, common balloon flower, or balloon flower.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50mg Average Seed Count 60 Seeds Family Campanulaceae Genus Platycodon Species grandiflorus Common Name Balloon Flower, Chinese Bellflower, Japanese Bellflower Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Lavender/Violet, June - August Height 60-90cm (24-36in) Spread 30-38cm (12-15in) Position Full sun to light shade Soil Prefers well drained / light Germination 14-21 days