Campanula comes from the family Campanulaceae and is one of several genera. It’s more commonly known as the bellflower. It takes both this name and its botanical name from its bell-shaped flowers. The word campanula is, in fact, Latin for ‘little bell’.
What does campanula look like?
Campanula or ‘Sarastro’ is a clump-forming perennial, brandishing a series of sophisticated spires, all of which boast large, bell-shaped, drooping blooms in a vibrant violet-purple shade.
The plant flowers from early to late summer, and the blooms sit upright on leafy stems amidst a basal rosette of mid-green leaves.
Where is campanula native to?
This particular plant is native to the Carpathian Mountains of Central Europe. It comes in the shape of a low-growing herbaceous perennial, complete with lengthy stems brandishing solitary blooms.
Best conditions to grow campanula
These species of plants necessitate full sunlight if you wish to promote good flower production. They also enjoy well-drained soil with moderate moisture.
When established, bellflower plants are able to withstand periods of drought. The best soil conditions for growing bellflowers vary, although they can grow in any pH range and even thrive in highly acidic soils.
How to plant campanula
This is a great plant for those wishing to add an injection of color to an otherwise gloomy garden, especially in the wintertime. This is one bloom that’s hardy enough to survive both the cold and sleet.
It’s also extremely easy-to-grow, low maintenance and offers great ground-cover. It’s available in a wide range of picture-perfect hues including blue-purple, pink, and white.
These blooms are the perfect choice for borders, rock gardens, and hanging baskets. The sprawling variety boasts unique star-shaped leaves that are sure to add interest to your outdoor space.
Types of campanula
There are many types of campanula to choose from, with some of the most popular species listed below:
- Pink Octopus
- Blue Waterfall
- Canterbury Bells
- Dalmation Bellflower
- Fairies’ Thimbles
For best results, sow campanula seeds in autumn or spring. If already grown, plant them outside in the autumn and take cuttings of perennials in the month of spring.
If you have clump-forming plants (species boasting more than one crown) you can divide these when dormant – again, usually in the autumn or early spring.
Taking care of campanula
To promote healthy growth, it is important to regularly remove faded blooms. This will help you to extend the flowering period. If growing taller varieties, they may require a pole for support.
Pests and diseases
As with the majority of plants, campanula is susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Young growth can be pray to slugs and snails, whilst the leaves can be affected by powdery mildew and rust disease. As long as you know what signs to look out for, both are treatable.
Other notable pests and diseases include aphids. These insects are attracted to new growth, such as flower buds and young leaves. If you notice that your plant has become infested, it’s imperative to treat it straight away with an insecticide.
Fungus gnats are additional pests to watch out for. These species are attracted to peaty moist and potting mixes in particular and are common when humidity and moisture levels are high – such as in a greenhouse.
There are a number of campanula varieties to choose from, many of which can be grown indoors. These consist of smaller cultivars, which look beautiful inside the home and with a little care they can thrive in most indoor conditions.
Tips for growing campanula indoors
Campanula flowers are easy to grow indoors, which makes them a great option for those who have busy schedules. They simply require cool air, soil that is moist and indirect sunlight. Treat them in the correct manner and you can expect an abundance of hot-hued, violet-blue blooms, which flower in mid-to-late summer and continue to flower right up until autumn.
Even post flowering, you can keep your plant. This particular species is a perennial and will continue to bloom year after year. For best results, cut the stems back (close to the soil level of the plant).
This should be completed in late autumn or early winter, after the flowering season. Keep the soil dry until you see new growth in the month of spring, and once in bloom, resume with normal watering.
Repotting campanula plants
You can re-pot campanula plants when their roots show at the surface of the soil. For best results, wait until the winter or early spring, but never while they are in bloom.
You should use a container that measures between one and two inches larger than the previous container but not too big, as flowering plants tend to bloom best when their roots are a little snug in the pot.
If you’d like to use a decorative container, without drainage holes, simply use it as a cachepot and place the plain nursery pot inside the cachepot.
Remove tired blooms to keep your flowering plant looking its best, as this will encourage new growth. As said previously, this should be done after the flowering season.
Popular varieties of campanula grown in the UK
There are a number of campanula species and varieties to choose from, including tall and dwarf variants, all of which can be grown in the U.K.
Low growing varieties
A number of low growing varieties of campanula include the following:
- C. moesiaca: this variant boasts clusters of tiny bell-shaped flowers, in beautiful hues of blue, purple or white, which bloom mid to late summer.
- C. carpatica (thesis campanula): boast large blooms, which are either blue or white in shade. This particular species flowers in the month of midsummer and can grow to a height between three and four inches.
- C. carpatica (Bressingham White): this plant comes in a pure white form and reaches a height of six inches.
- C. cochlearifolia (Fairy Thimbles): this low growing delicate plant features petite bell flowers in the shape of pendants, which come in a blue or white shade. They can grow to a height of three inches.
- C. garganica: this specie has pretty pale lavender-blue flowers, which bloom in the month of summer. They are low growing and reach a height of just two inches.
- C. persicifolia: this shrub is available as a single, harebell-like bloom in white and blue shades. It’s a prevalent garden variety as it’s a great self-seeder and measures a three feet.
- C. lactiflora (milky bellflower): this bloom boasts abundant showy clusters of flowers in picture-perfect pink, white or blue shades, which measure between three and four and half feet.