How to Grow Campanula Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Bellflower, Harebell, and Canterbury Bells

The Campanula plant genus is very large, and includes species that are Hardy Perennial, Hardy Biennial, and Hardy Annual in nature.

One thing that Campanula plants have in common, is that they all bear bell-like flowers. These are usually of blue or white.

Harebell / Bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia) by Brewbooks

Smaller species, can be used in a rockery, whereas larger members of the Campanula genus can be used anywhere in the garden.

Campanula persicifolia
Peach leaved bellflower (Campanula persicifolia) by Suneko

Some of the common names of Campanula garden plants include Bellflower, Peach Bells, Harebell, and Canterbury bells. They usually flower in the spring or summer.

Commonly Grown Campanula Species Photographs and Plant Identification

Campanula rotundifolia

Campanula rotundifolia
Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell / Scottish Bluebell), photograph by Anne and David; CC.

Campanula portenschlagiana

Campanula portenschlagiana
Campanula portenschlagiana (Wall Bellflower), photograph by Babij; CC.

Campanula americana

Campanula americana
Campanula americana (American Bellflower / Tall Bellflower), photograph by Joshua Mayer; CC.

Campanula poscharskyana

Campanula poscharskyana
Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian Bellflower / Trailing Bellflower), picture by Staudengärtnerei Forssman; CC.

How to Grow Campanula

Campanula Plant Growing Guide and Facts

Common Names: Bell Flower, Harebell, Bluebell, Peach Bells, Canterbury Bells, Rampion.
Family: Campanulaceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Hardy biennial. Sometimes as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 2 to 80 inches (5 to 200 cm).
Native: Temperate Northern hemisphere.

Growing Region: Annual: Zones 3 to 10. Perennial: Zones 3 to 8
Flowers: Spring and/or summer to early autumn.
Flower Details: Blue, pink, white, purple. Panicle. Bell shaped.
Foliage: Variable; often broad at the base of the plant and narrow higher up the stem.

Sow Outdoors: Surface. Early spring (or early autumn in mild climates). Sow biennials in late spring or early summer. Spacing: Small species 5 to 10 inches (12 to 20 cm); Large species 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 cm).
Sow Indoors: Light (not direct sunlight). Germination time: two to four weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Nine or ten weeks in advance of transplanting outdoors in early spring or early autumn. Biennials should be transplanted in the autumn.

Requirements: Full sunlight for best results (except in very hot areas then partial shade). Soil pH 6.5 to 7.5. Ordinary soils. Gritty soils in rockeries. Supply water in dry spells. Deadhead. Supply winter mulch of manure. Use a stake for tall species. Perennial species can be propagated form cuttings or by division in autumn or spring.

How to Grow Bellflower (Campanula)

Seeds of the Campanula plant should be sown on the surface in the early spring.

If growing bellflower and similar garden flowers from seed indoors, then they should be prepared about ten weeks before putting out.

They require two to three weeks to germinate. For gemination, Campanula should be grown in light, at a temperature of between 15 and 20°C (59 to 68°F).

The seedlings of bellflower should then be planted at a spacing of about 20 cm (8 inches; small varieties) or 40 cm (16 inches; larger varieties).

They should be located into an area of the garden that has full exposure to the sun, into a pH neutral soil, in the early spring.


Caring for Bellflower and other Campanula Plant Species in the Garden

Campanula plant species such as bellflower and Harebell require feeding in the spring, and regular watering in dry periods.

It is best to dead-head Campanula flowers to prolong their blooming season by encouraging further flowers.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on Campanula. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Phyteuma, Brimeura plant, Roscoea plant, and Platycodon plants.