Platycodon – Chinese Balloon Flower, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

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Perennial Flower Information

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Platycodon – Chinese Balloon Flower

The Chinese Balloon Flower
is very closely allied to the Campanulas. It grows erect
and the stems are rigid. The flowers have five petals
and open out rather flat, but when in bud they look
like inflated balloons, from whence the common name
is derived. The flowers are both single and double.
They are blue and white in color and sometimes will
have blue or white veins which makes them appear as
if they streaked. They begin blooming about the middle
of June and last throughout the Summer. The Chinese
Bell Flower or Balloon Flower is known as Platycodon
grandiflorume and grows 3 feet tall. P. g. Mariesii
has deep blue, bell-shaped flowers, some of them nearly
3 inches across, but it is more dwarf, only growing
about 12 inches high.

UTILIZE. Platycodons are
splendid border plants, for the plants are neat and
well formed and they are in bloom all through the Summer
months. They are also planted among shrubbery. The flowers
can be cut and last well.

GENERAL. These plants nearly
always flower the same season they are planted. They
grow readily, sending up long spikes, so that nicely
shaped bushes are formed in a couple of seasons. Medium
sandy loam is the best soil. Do not cut the old stems
back in the Fall when the blossoms are gone, but let
them die away naturally so as not to injure the crown,
which should be set about one inch below the surface.
Slight Winter protection is beneficial.

PROPAGATION. The most successful
method is by seeds. The root stalk is fleshy and thick
and a great deal of care must be exercised in dividing
it.

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