Campanulas are commonly called bellflowers for their attractive tubular, bell or star-shaped flowers. The colors range from vivid blue and purple to white and pale pink. Bellflowers form spreading groundcovers, trailing plants, and upright plants up to 5 feet tall depending on the variety.
Bellflowers are a large group of perennial, biennial and annual plants. Plant bellflowers by seed in the garden and cover lightly with soil. Mix the seed with sand to ensure even coverage. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and like amended, well-drained soil. Blooms should be picked off as soon as they fade to encourage continuous flowering. Perennial bellflowers can be divided in the spring or fall.
Depending on the variety, bellflowers are suitable for rock gardens, flower borders and wildflower gardens. They vary greatly in size and growth habits, so follow the planting instructions for your variety. The smaller groundcovers are good for rock gardens and terraces while the tall bellflowers stand out in borders and wildflower beds.
Contributed by Valerie Smith, Colorado Master Gardener. For answers to your horticultural questions, contact the Master Gardener Help Desk at 719.636.8921 or CSUmg2@elpasoco.com.
Photo courtesy of Joan Nusbaum.