The Platycodon contains one species, and this is commonly grown in the garden; it goes by the common names of Balloon Flower or Bellflower.
The plant is a hardy perennial that has stalks that reach 30 to 90 cm in height.
Platycodon flowers in the summer with white, blue, or purple bell shaped flowers.
Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon flower) by Carl E Lewis.
The seeds of Balloon flowers (Platycodon) should be sown on the soil surface in either spring or summer. They have a preference for a rich and moist soil, and like to grow in sunny or partially shaded areas of the garden that have good drainage.
If starting off indoors, do so about 7 or 8 weeks in advance. It should take seeds about two to four weeks to germinate at 20 degrees Celsius. The seedlings should be transplanted with great care into the garden at the end of spring, spaced about 25 cm to 75 cm apart depending upon the size of the Platycodon variety.
It is quite easy to care for Platycodon; they like a moist soil so keep well watered, and dead head the flowers to extend the period in which they bloom. As they are very delicate plants it may be wise to carefully stake larger varieties. It is best to propagate plants by taking cuttings in the spring or growing from seeds; although the plants can be propagated by division this can often damage the plant.
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