29 September 2008

Balloon Flowers or Chinese Bellflower

This lovely Balloon Flower, or Platycodon grandiflorus, is reputed to be easy to grow from seed. Have you tried it yet?

The seeds can be planted on the ground, uncovered, in the spring for a summer full of flowers. They don't like to be transplanted so plant the seeds in a partly shady place where you want the plants. If they like the spot, they will become a perennial and greet you next spring and will grow up to 2-feet tall.

Mine stopped blooming during the 100-degree days and is perking up again as fall temperatures return.

Removing the faded flowers will make them bloom more.

Leave the dead looking plant in place over the winter so you don't forget where it is in the spring. Cultivating around it can damage the crown roots.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds offers a pack with 100 seeds of pink, white and blue.

MOBOT says " 'Komachi' can be purchased as seed and may self-seed in the garden in optimum growing conditions."

What's your experience been with Platycodon grandiflorus or balloon flowers?

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