Feb 3, 2018 - Balloon flower adds a cheerful touch of blue to sunny garden borders. If you find the days are warm… Read more », I live in New Zealand & have 3 Platycondon plants that flowered beautifully over summer. It is a native milkweed of South Africa and in 2001 its name w… Use clean, sharp pruners to cut off about four inches of a stem. Also, how far back should they be pruned? Also I would love to have mine spread out. The petite stature of this type makes it a good choice for containers, the front of mixed beds, and along the edge of borders. Also, don’t fertilize if your soil is especially rich, because too much nitrogen can cause legginess. Balloon plant is one of many common names for an African milkweed that develops showy, hairy, inflated seed pods that are a real conversation piece. Thank you for a very informative article. However, they are doing very well, thus far. Seeds can be directly sown in the garden or started indoors in early spring. I’m just going to learn as I go how to take care of these flower gardens. P. grandiflorus may be propagated from seed, by stem cuttings, or from nursery starts in the spring. Now that we’ve talked about starting plants, let’s move on to establishing them in the garden. Astra Blue Balloon Flower is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Transplant nursery starts to the garden in early spring for flowers the first year. Be sure the pots drain well. I’d love to have some white ones! Hi Torri – Yes. balloon flower care instructions provides a comprehensive and comprehensive pathway for students to see progress after the end of each module. Balloon flower prefers a light spot, and can even tolerate full sun. You may save harvested stems to dry for seed collection. Water it well, to help the soil cling to the roots. My obsession with balloon flower … You may also deadhead throughout the growing season, and prune entire stems for a more compact appearance. The leaves are turning yellow. Generally, balloon flowers bloom within the same season they are sown. It is not necessary to cover seeds; simply moisten the area and within a couple … Well-suited to mid-bed placements, this type may require staking. If you want to give it a try, wait until spring, when the new shoots appear. Find P. grandiflorus ‘Astra Pink’ seeds now from Amazon. Keep the soil surface of the seedling even with the ground soil surface, neither burying nor elevating the seedling, to minimize transplant stress. As for elephant ear plants, they are only hardy in zones 8 to 10. Can I cut the bloom stem off? If you prune the old spent flower bud, do you not need the seeds for regrow the following year? P. grandiflorus is not prone to problems with pests or disease, however, as I always say, your best defense is a healthy plant. It jumped the bed and went into the grass (we just mow over it, but I would like to handle it properly). In fall you can add an ample layer of mulch for winter protection. The appearance of leaves is evidence of root growth. Since he is recently retired, we thought we’d find a new hobby to enjoy. Select pots that are at least two inches wider than the mature widths of the plants, and with a depth of at least 10 to 12 inches to accommodate the taproots. … GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Is there a way to keep them going? I have lots of photos if you’re interested! Hello Amy – For container gardening, cultivate dwarf varieties. The pure blue flowers of balloon flower are a welcome sight in the late summer. Perennial balloon flowers earn their name from their large, balloon-like flower buds. You may cut the stems back to an inch or two, and let them grow up again, for more compact, upright growth. The inflated buds of balloon flowers are fun to pop. Sign up for our newsletter. Make sure you guys appreciate us and don't forget to Like, Share and Subscribe. Either give this plant a space of its own to naturally reseed at will, or plan to dig up random seedlings every spring. The milky white substance is sap, and it is the “blood” of the plant. Do you need an area that can contain it? Some plant food once a week encourages flowering. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Provide good drainage and use mulch to maintain adequate moisture without oversaturation. Avoid problems by providing adequate drainage, and don’t water established plants unless there is insufficient rainfall combined with high temperatures. Ask the kids to help you add this perennial gem to your outdoor living space. You may also direct sow seeds outdoors after the last average spring frost date, or at any time during the growing season, but they may not produce flowers until the second year. Balloon flowers like full sun, but are very tolerant of partial shade, so the lack of afternoon sun shouldn’t be a problem. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Not sure this post is active. Also, you may sometimes find dormant bare rootstock for sale. After hardening off, you can transplant the seedlings to the garden, taking care not to disturb the fragile roots. I’m gonna try it. Other propagation methods are not recommended for this plant. If you didn’t cut the stems by half during the summer, and they are quite leggy, cut them back by half now. Plants grown from balloon flower seeds bloom first in their second year. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Hi Sarah – It’s not the best choice for a hanging basket as the stems do not cascade. That’s a great way to keep it right where you want it. Is it possible for me to have one indoors from year to year? The edible roots have long been pickled and preserved, and used in herbal remedies and dietary supplements, to provide anti-inflammatory, antitussive, and digestive benefits. Will it grow out of control? – Place your plant in a sunny location. Cheryl, Hi Cheryl – It’s possible that your plants started to dry out at summer’s end. It asks little in the way of water once established, and while it loves to self-sow, well-chosen planting locations and adequate deadheading can minimize the effects of its exuberance. In warm locales, it does best with afternoon shade, but in your location, where it’s cooler, it can take all the sun it can get. The soil should be well-draining. Is there any way it would be okay to trim these back in mid May in southern NH? They are definitively astra double blue balloon flowers (Platycodon grandifloris). Could this plant work in a hanging basket? After a blossom is finished, you may pinch it off to encourage more to bloom. Not only are they easy to grow, but these plants are easy to care for as well. We’re pleased. see more; Family Campanulaceae . The leaves are thick, and green to blue-green in color. If you’re looking for something really unique for your mixed beds, borders, and containers, this plant is one to consider. We’re glad you enjoyed the article. Perhaps some good words here will increase its popularity. How do the ones on your deck do in pots? propagation by seed is better or cuttings can be taken, Balloon Flower Propagation: Tips For Seed Growing And Dividing Balloon Flower Plants, Spent Balloon Flower Pruning: Tips For Deadheading A Balloon Flower Plant, Bellflower Plants: How To Grow Campanula Bellflowers, Holiday Garden Giving: Ways To Help Others This Season, Gifting Seeds – Ways To Give Seeds As Presents, Sharing Garden Ideas: Benefits From Sharing Community Gardens, Growing Soapwort: Tips For Soapwort Herb Care, Growing Butternut Squash Plants – Butternut Squash Cultivation In The Home Garden, Peach Tree Dropping Fruit – Why Peach Fruit Is Falling Off Tree, Canterbury Bells Plant: How To Grow Canterbury Bells, The Act Of Giving – Crafty Ways To Give Back, Grateful To Give Back: Sharing The Garden With Others In Need, We’re All In This Together - Passing On Gratitude In The Garden, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables. There are dwarf varieties that reach about 8 inches, as well as standard size plants that may exceed two feet. In early summer, the balloon-shaped buds soon open to a star-shaped bell in shades of white, pink and blue. Maybe you have an amazing hybrid, or super-soil! At this time, some folks prune deeply to stimulate new growth. Transplant on a cool, overcast day to minimize stress on the plant… Thank you. The wider spread of this low-profile option makes it an especially good choice for border edging. Remove wilted flowers. For both methods, maintain even moisture but avoid oversaturation while seeds germinate and plants become established in the garden. The terminology for this plant is a little confusing. Most commercially available Platycodon grandiflorus varieties are intended to grow outdoors, where they spread by vigorous runners and often exceed two feet in height. While balloon flower prefers rich loam, you might try adding a little humus or compost and some sand to your clay soil. A layer of mulch may help to retain moisture, with the bonus of inhibiting weeds that may compete for water and nutrients. They are especially prolific with consistent deadheading. Maintain even moisture, but do not overwater. I also have elephant plants. Try staking them with twine and bamboo sticks, to hold them upright and create a neater appearance. The plant … 11 Perennial Aster Species for Summer’s Last Hurrah, How to Identify and Control Sooty Blotch and Flyspeck on Apples, Your Go-To Guide for Gardening with Children, How to Plant and Grow Eggplant in Your Vegetable Garden, How to Prevent and Control Powdery Mildew on Apple Trees, Organic Gardening 101: A Practical How To Article, Sun Protection: How to Beat the Heat and Survive Summer in the Garden, How to Diagnose and Prevent Phony Peach Disease, Blue shades, pink, and white/ green to blue-green, Bee balm, black-eyed Susan, blazing star, daylily, lily turf, Border edging, containers, perennial beds, rock gardens. It is a flower plant … Balloon flower can be placed indoors or outdoors in the warmer months. There are two adjoining plants this season, the taller one being 55 inches high! With exception to occasional bouts of slugs or snails, balloon flower pests are few. We are now heading into Winter & my plants are not looking great. The soil should be well drained and can be enriched with some compost and mineral shares, such as sand or … If your region hasn’t reached its first frost date, you may plant your balloon flowers. I’m especially partial to the blue flowers because they are eye-catching for their color alone. Thank you for sharing! Leggy stems flop over, but they don’t arch gracefully, as you would desire for a hanging plant. A very common complaint about this plant is that the stems of tall varieties tend to get “leggy” and grow horizontally instead of vertically. Gently slide your shovel underneath, and lift it out of the ground. Should I cut them back now or wait until our Spring in September? 1. Dig a hole the same depth and width as the root ball. It likes well-drained, slightly acidic soil; and although the balloon flower plant will tolerate dry conditions, it prefers (and needs) plenty of moisture. Balloon flower, also known as Chinese bellflower, has been racking up great reviews for more than 50 years, yet it's still not found in many gardens. Balloon flowers require a full sun to part shade location. What Are Balloon Flowers? When shopping for balloon flowers, you may come across the true botanical species, but more likely, you’ll find cultivated varieties. Hello, Erick – Thank you for your question. They are lance-shaped with serrated margins. Care The Ballon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) is suitable for sunny to semi-shaded places. Fluffy, semi-double blue flowers emerge from unique, balloon shaped buds, adding wonderful color impact throughout summer. How to Grow and Care for Balloon Flower Plants Perennial, Platycodon Grandiflora. Alternatively, you may place plants directly into the garden in late spring or early summer. Maintain even moisture before and after transplanting. Balloon flower, or Platycodon grandiflorus, is also known as Chinese bellflower. Also I live where it’s cold and summers don’t get very warm, but I decided to keep it as an inside flower but I can put it on my balcony if that’s necessary. Hi Denise – The flowers have a single row of deep blue petals, and measure between two and two and a half inches across. Vigorous and floriferous, Platycodon grandiflorus 'Sentimental Blue' (Balloon Flower) is a dwarf herbaceous perennial which produces an abundance of bell-shaped, flaring, vibrant blue flowers, up to 3 in. If desired, they can be fertilized with a slow-release fertilizer in spring. Grown as an annual in our … A taller cultivar, P. grandiflorus ‘Fuji Blue’ generally tops out at 18 to 24 inches tall with a spread of 12 to 18 inches. You might want to put the pots into the ground with a layer of mulch over them, and take them up again in spring. How to Grow Platycodon Plants Guide to Growing Balloon Flower / Bellflowers. I have purchased my first balloon plant. Balloon flowers are easy to care for and are long-lived in ideal conditions. You can also prune in early spring, just as the new growth appears. This low-maintenance plant does well on its own in ideal conditions and requires very little intervention once established. Plants should bloom in the first year. Take care not to disturb the taproots during transplant. P. grandiflorus thrives in organically-rich, loamy soil that’s well-drained and moderately moist. It is in a 6” pot and had lots of blooms. Let us know in the comments section below, and feel free to share a picture! Seeds will need two years to produce flowers. They’ve flowered some but just aren’t growing in height but rather in length. Also, do you have recommendations on how to remove the additional growth from an unwanted spot? So glad to hear you’re having success! They have done extremely well and I love how they add interest to my gardens. Ideal for containers, borders and butterfly gardens. Are there different techniques to enable flowering again after winter with an indoor potted Platycodon? the plant does not get afternoon sun? It will thrive in sun or partial shade. Simply press the seed onto the top of moist soil so that it gets plenty of light to grow. The two- to three-inch flowers bloom in various shades of blue, as well as pink and white. Product photos via Amazon, IB Prosperity, and Nature Hills Nursery. Did I read correctly above that if I took the dead heads and pushed them in the ground they might root? My homeowners’ association does not permit planting in the ground, so I would like to overwinter the plant as a houseplant. Elsewhere, you may dig them up, trim off the leaves, and store the tubers in a cool, dry location until the next growing season. Hi Jackie – Since the succulent stems have milky sap, you’ll need to lightly singe the cut ends with a candle (or match) immediately after cutting to make them last longer. Balloon flower … Congratulations on your new house! Fertilizing is optional. The balloon flower or Platycodon grandiflorus, is known by many home gardeners as a hardy perennial with whimsical flowers in shades of blue, pink and white.The flower is commonly used as an ornamental in perennial border gardens. Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks prior to the last average spring frost date for blooms in the first year. There may be one or more blossoms on each upright stem. Disrupt plants as little as possible to avoid damaging the taproots. P. grandiflorus ‘Sentimental’ is a dwarf cultivar with mature heights ranging from six to 12 inches and widths of 12 to 18 inches. Balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) are named because their bloom starts out looking like a purple, white or blue balloon… Medium-size varieties hold the middle ground of perennial beds, while taller species plants anchor rear positions with their sturdy stems (which may need staking). Some have prominent veining of the petals. Keep plant watered after transplanting but do not over-water, as balloon flowers are susceptible to root rot. Resembling bellflowers (Campanula), they open from large, plump, balloon … Of course, they may require staking if falling over. We’ve moved to the woods near a lake in North central Texas, so I’m wondering if the deer are going to eat them. With a team of extremely dedicated and quality lecturers, balloon flower care … This cold hardy plant also prefers cooler conditions in summer, so afternoon shade is a good idea for warmer regions. Therefore, propagation by seed is better or cuttings can be taken in spring, if desired. I was wondering about keeping mine in a pot larger than it came in. Hello Helen – This hardy perennial is easy to grow, especially when you start with seeds. However, there are two issues you may have to deal with: “leggy” stems and self sowing. Plant Description: Balloon flower is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Campanulaceae, and the only species in the plant … The native to Eastern Asia plant is commonly known as Balloon Flower. Vigorous and floriferous, Platycodon grandiflorus 'Astra Pink' (Balloon Flower) is a dwarf herbaceous perennial which produces an abundance of bell-shaped, flaring, pale pink flowers, up to 3 in. The balloon plant is easy to grow and hardy in USDA Zones 3-8. These are very easy to care for! Pruning is a vital part of balloon flower care, helping to control its size and improve its blooming. Plant it at the same depth as the container in which it was growing. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers … Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Excellent cut flower. Flowers measure three inches across and boast a double row of lavender-blue petals. However, what few you might encounter are laid out for you below. I’m transplanting these. This is the best propagation method, as it will not put any stress on the delicate roots. My balloon flowers get over six foot tall and when they bloom they are so tall and heavy they end up lying on the ground. Although P. grandiflorus is not a native blue flower, its hardy, disease-resistant nature and vibrant perennial blossoms have made it a jewel of American gardens.. Also called common, Chinese, or Japanese bellflower, P. grandiflorus grows in clumps that fill in densely, and is the perfect plant … Other names: Chinese/Japanese Bellflower. Provided it drains well, you may get acceptable results. But I’m a novice gardener and bought some of these balloon flowers on clearance because they looked healthy overall. In addition, if plants sit in puddles of water, they may be susceptible to root rot. In the spring, you can take soft cuttings of growing stem tips to root and plant out. This is a process called “hardening off.”. The deer usually leave balloon flower alone. Companions that play well with P. grandiflorus include bee balm, black-eyed Susan, blazing star, daylily, and lily turf. They’re very effortless, & I love the blue. Give them a few hours of fresh air and sunlight each day for about three to five days. Organically-rich soil provides adequate nutrition, and products that are high in nitrogen may contribute to legginess. Pots dry out faster and freeze harder than ground soil. Remember to deadhead spent blossoms to encourage optimal blooming. The roots are not aggressive, but this plant self-sows with vigor, spreading via new shoots that pop up in the fertile ground each spring. If you choose to prune in early spring, take care not to damage emerging shoots. Ruth. Look for new shoots in spring, followed by flowers in summer. Plant it in a bed where it has room to reach its full width, and prune it down in early spring each year to encourage compact growth. We’re glad you are enjoying balloon flower as a container plant on your deck. Leaves that feel brittle and look yellow may indicate dehydration. An interesting and well-behaved perennial, the balloon flower, Platycodon grandiflorus, acquired its common name due to the resemblance of its buds to a hot air balloon. Originally published March 19, 2019. This vigorous new dwarf variety has a compact form. Hi Vicki – They are just green leaves right now but I told them the plant will be a wonderful surprise when it blooms. And if you’re in a warm zone, you can do this in late fall or early spring. You may prune your plants to the ground in early spring, just before they begin to grow again. As your plant grows, increase the size of the pot to two inches wider than the diameter of the plant, with ample depth for the taproot. They can’t support the weight, I guess. When you deadhead, take care to pinch off the spent flowers without damaging the stems. In spring, when the new sprouts appear, cut the old foliage to the ground.… Read more ». I love my balloon flowers but once they are 12-15 inches, the plants don’t stand up. I love my balloon flowers and deadhead them religiously but they stop blooming mid-summer. I deadheaded spent blooms but now it’s not producing any blooms. – Pinch off and discard spent blossoms. It likes well-drained, slightly acidic soil; and although the balloon flower plant will tolerate dry conditions, it prefers (and needs) plenty of moisture. For nursery starts, seedlings, and rooted cuttings, space plants to allow for their mature dimensions. Hi Susan- Hi Angela – Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. In addition, if it is an especially dry winter, you should water them occasionally. I’ve read all the comments and answers but I’m not sure of the timing of pruning in “early spring” or half way through the summer. If you like vigorous blue flowers, you’ll want to read these guides next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. Most commonly available in blue-violet, balloon flowers … Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. Also called common, Chinese, or Japanese bellflower, P. grandiflorus grows in clumps that fill in densely, and is the perfect plant for a sunny border garden. Place the pot in a warm location with good sunlight. But currently they’re growing- just not up. From there, you simply water as needed. I love it! On the other hand, if they are soft, yellow, and wilted, they may be oversaturated. Although P. grandiflorus is not a native blue flower, its hardy, disease-resistant nature and vibrant perennial blossoms have made it a jewel of American gardens. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project! About 3 months ago I bought the balloon flower. However, deadheading sometimes results in a fall re-bloom. They allowed me to choose some perennials and I found ballon flowers. Hello Emily – Balloon flower is not an easy plant to relocate, because it has a long taproot. However, many balloon flowers are cultivated hybrid varieties, and they are likely to produce results that differ from their parent plants. You should grow Balloon flowers in a place where curious cats, dogs, and children cannot reach them. This cold hardy plant also prefers cooler conditions in summer, so afternoon shade is a good idea for warmer regions. As the roots are fragile and resistant to transplant, this method may not be worth the investment, especially when plants are so easy to direct sow and grow from seed.