Balloon Flowers: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts

Balloon Flowers: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts

Balloon Flowers

Balloon Flowers Description

Even though the blossoms do not resemble bells, balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) are clump-forming perennials that belong to the easy-to-grow bellflower family. Instead, the 2 to 3-inch star-shaped blooms are produced by inflated, balloon-like buds that enlarge.

Balloon Flowers

This easy-to-grow plant has strong blue-violet flowers that bloom throughout the summer, but there are other varieties with white and pink blossoms.

Balloon flowers are usually planted in the spring after the threat of frost has passed, and they develop swiftly enough to bloom the first year.

It’s a perennial herbaceous plant and is seen in China, Russia, Korea, and Japan. They can grow up to 1 to 2 ½ feet tall and 1 to 1 ½ feet wide.

How To Care Balloon Flowers?

Balloon flowers are fantastic plants for border gardens or rock gardens, and their wide-open petals attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Although they aren’t vigorous spreaders, these perennials will self-sow their seed.

Normally, balloon flowers are low-maintenance plants that are pest and disease resistant, with the exception of root rot in locations with a lot of rain. The higher balloon flower variants might get a little floppy.

To allow them to sustain one another, stake them or plant them in clusters. Begin with nursery plants or begin from seed to grow your balloon flowers.

How To Grow Balloon Flowers?

i. Light

Plant balloon flowers in full sun, with at least six hours of direct sunshine on most days, to receive the most blossoms. They will, however, do well in partial shade and may even prefer some protection from the strong afternoon sun.

ii. Soil

Organically rich, loamy soil with adequate drainage is preferred by balloon flowers. In thick soil, including as clay, they do not thrive. A pH range of 5.5 to 7.5 is ideal for them.

iii. Water

Keep the soil of young plants wet but not waterlogged at all times. Balloon flowers like a reasonable amount of moisture in the soil once developed, although they may survive short spells of dryness. Unless the soil dries up due to an extended period without rainfall, they won’t require much further watering.

iv. Temperature and Humidity

Balloon flowers are hardy and thrive in USDA zones 3 through 8. Their optimal temperature range is 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but if they get some shade in the afternoon, they can endure warmer temperatures.

In the fall, frost can damage new plants and cause existing plants to die back to the ground. Balloon flowers may grow in both wet and dry environments as long as they have enough soil moisture.

v. Fertilizer

If you have good soil, balloon flowers usually don’t require any additional food. In the fall, though, a coating of compost can assist them recoup the energy they waste blooming throughout the growth season. Use an all-purpose, slow-release fertiliser in the early spring if your soil is deficient.

Varieties of Balloon Flowers

There are various popular balloon flower variations, which include:

1. Platycodon grandiflorus Astra series: This variety produces blue, pink, or white double blooms with ten petals. They’re a great option for starting from seed.

2. grandiflorus Fuji series: This is the most popular and tallest type, with 30-inch stems with blue, pink, or white blooms.

3. Grandiflorus ‘Komachi’: This variety’s purple-blue blooms remain puffy pillow-like long after blooming.

4. ‘Sentimental Blue’ is a dwarf type with 1- to 2-inch purple blooms that grows to approximately 6 inches tall.

Balloon Flowers Pruning

Pruning balloon flowers isn’t usually essential, however it can be done for aesthetic reasons. Tall stems can be trimmed back by half in late April to create stockier plants. This may assist in keeping the plants from flipping over.

Deadheading your plants can also keep them looking beautiful and flowering regularly. Remove only the wilted blossoms, not the entire stem. The stem’s surviving buds will continue to expand.

How To Propagate Balloon Flowers?

Gardeners love balloon flowers since they are reliable and fast-growing, so the more the happier, but you must be cautious how you propagate the plant. Because the deep taproots of balloon flowers do not want to be disturbed, division is typically not suggested for propagation.

Alternatively, stem cuttings can be used to propagate the plant.

• Trim a 4-inch piece of stem using sterile, sharp pruners, then remove the lower leaves to reveal the naked stem.

• If desired, apply a rooting hormone to the bare stem before planting it in damp soil.

• As you wait for roots to take hold, keep the soil wet.

• You’ll know roots have formed when you witness leaf growth and sense resistance while gently tugging on the incision. After that, the plant is ready to go into the garden.

How To grow Balloon Flowers From Seed?

Use seed starting mix or regular potting soil to start seeds indoors in the early spring, around six to eight weeks prior your area’s anticipated last frost date. 1/16 inch of dirt is just enough to cover the seeds.

Place the container in a warm place to germinate the seeds. You may move the seedlings outside after the weather has warmed up. Plant seeds immediately in your garden after the latest frost date, but keep in mind that they will most likely not blossom the first year.

Common Pests and Diseases in Balloon Flowers

Slugs and snails are attracted to balloon flowers, as are many other external bloomers, and may be enticed off the plants using bait.

Crown rot, root rot, botrytis grey mould, powdery mildew, and fungal leaf spot are all possible diseases that might affect the plant. Plants with crown and root rot may perish throughout the winter.

Fungicides may typically be used to treat leaves with powdery patches, mottling, or blotching. To avoid the spread of grey mould, remove plants with grey mould as soon as possible, then spray a precautionary fungicide on the surviving plants.

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