The elegant balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) is one of the most stunning flowers in the world, with its large, violet-blue petals surrounding the small, white blooms in the center. Its trumpet-shaped blooms are an eye-catching addition to any garden and can bloom up to ten weeks! Here’s how you can grow your own elegant balloon flowers in your garden, including tips on planting and care throughout the year.
Before You Begin
Growing balloon flowers is easy, but there are some tips that can make the process go more smoothly. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide on a spot in your yard or garden where you’d like the flowers to grow. You should also take into account how large these plants will get. A good rule of thumb is not to plant them within 2 feet of any other type of plant as they will shade out anything that grows under them.
Balloon flowers love the heat, so it’s best to plant them in a sunny spot. The soil should be well-drained, so you may need to amend the soil with sand or organic matter if it’s heavy clay. You’ll want to plant them in the ground, so they will grow into large bushes. Plant them about two feet apart from each other because they are fast growers. Water every day to keep the roots moist and fertilize weekly with a general purpose fertilizer. After four years, your bush should be around 10-12 feet wide and tall, but you can prune it back as needed. They also attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds!
Soil, Sunlight, Water & Care
Balloon flowers are a beautiful addition to any garden, but they do require some care. They prefer moist, shady soil that is rich in organic matter. Plant them in the shade of other taller plants and water them regularly. When it comes to fertilizer, use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer once every two weeks. Apply fertilizer after each rain or irrigation session. Once established balloon flowers should not need much maintenance at all and will provide many years of enjoyment.
Balloon flowers require little maintenance. A few tips include keeping the soil moist, but not wet, fertilizing with a water-soluble plant food monthly, and dividing the plants every three years in order to keep them healthy. Clean up any dead or diseased foliage regularly. Prune balloon flower plants back by about one third after they finish blooming each year for best results.
Some people believe that it is important to cut off all of the spent blooms before they go brown, as this will force the rest of the bloom stalks to produce more flowers; others feel that cutting off these spent blooms does not matter at all and should just be left alone as this will actually reduce total flowering time on average.