Platycodon Grandiflorus ‘Florist Blue’ – (Balloon Flower)
This plant has buds which swell into plump balloon-like orbs then pop open to reveal star-shaped blue blossoms & hence its name. It is long blooming, and its beautiful blossoms are produced throughout summer. It is one of the last perennials to emerge in springand workd well in the mixed garden, in containers and as a cut flower.
This strain was bred for the supply of fresh flowers to the cut flower market. It has long stems and deep blue flowers. It forms a compact mound of deep green foliage from which arise inflated buds that open into star-shaped single blue blossoms. The plants come up quite late in the spring, and continue blooming from early to late summer. They make a good cut flower. Deadhead them regularly to maintain the flower production, and prune back after flowering to maintain the plant’s shape.
The genus Platycodon belongs to the Campanulaceae family and contains only one member: Platycodon grandiflorus. It is native to Eastern Asia, The plant is commonly known as Balloon Flower. This name is based on the unopened flower buds which look like little balloons.
They like full sun and will tolerate partial shade, and grow in average to moist well drained soil.
They do not like to be moved once established . As they come up very late in spring it is a good idea to mark where their crown is to avoid mistakenly pulling them out.
Sow indoors in spring or sow directly after danger of frost has passed. Surface sow onto moist, well-drained seed compost. Do not cover seed as light is needed for germination. Simply press seeds into the soil. Ideal temp. 20°C. Germination takes 15-30 days approx. Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle to individual pots and grow on in cooler conditions. Acclimatise and plant out after danger of frost has passed.
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