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Platycodon (plat-ee-KOE-don)

Common Name:  Balloon flower

Light:  - Full sun to part shade

Soil:  Average to rich, well-drained

Moisture:  Average, dry in winter

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  3 - 8


Platycodon 'Astra Pink'

Platycodon 'Sentimental Blue'

Platycodon Description and Cultural Information

Platycodon grandiflorus, balloon flower. 2 - 3'. Balloon flowers are fantastic summer perennials. They have upright leafy stems with 5 petaled, bright-blue flowers that open from a bud that swells up like a balloon. 'Albus' and 'Fuji White' have white flowers. 'Shell Pink' and 'Fuji Pink' have pale pink flowers, and 'Astra Pink' is a compact blooming light pink variety. 'Double Blue' and 'Double White' have semi-double flowers and 'Astra Double Blue' is a compact semi-double blue. 'Mariesii' is a 12 - 18" dwarf with blue flowers. 'Sentimental Blue' is a 6 - 8" dwarf with blue flowers. The 'Fuji' series are tall plants with large blue, pink, or white flowers, that sometimes need staking. 'Florovariegatus' has white flowers splashed with purple.

How to Grow:  Plant balloon flowers in average to rich, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Select a dwarf cultivar if planting in partial shade, otherwise you will have to stake them. Plants grow from a large, fleshy tap root. Plants can be transplanted in spring or early fall, although division is not usually necessary. Deadhead regularly to encourage more and more blossoms. Plants will seed out readily in the garden.

Landscape uses:  Plant balloon flowers with other summer blooming perennials such as daisies, Rudbeckia, Gaillardia, Penstemon, garden phlox, yarrow (Achillea), and Veronica. The taller, dark colored varieties look great alongside baby's breath and the silvery foliage of artemisia and Russian sage and the shorter varieties make excellent border plants.

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