Platycodon grandiflorus or 'sentimental blue' belongs to the Campanulaceae flowering plant family. This flower is also known as Japanese bellflower, Chinese bellflower or balloon flower. This flowering plant is a native plant to China, Japan, Korea and East Siberia. This is a beautiful garden ornamental plant that is an absolutely low maintenance plant. This perennial flower can be blue, purple, pink and white in color and known for its magical flowers. I call the flowers magical after observing their interesting life cycle. The buds of Platycodon grandiflorus are inflated like a balloon. When the petals unfold, they look like five star bell flower.
The stems and buds of the Platycodon grandiflorus contain milky white sap. If you press the stem or buds hard, you can observe the sap. The flowers are bisexual and do not have fragrance. The plant grows about a foot in height and has bluish leaves. There are not many pests that infest this plant and the plant itself does not spread like a weed. If blossoms in July and August and loves full sun.
How to Grow Platycodon grandiflorus
If you have a look at the Platycodon grandiflorus care instructions, you will find they are perfect plants for a budding gardener. The Platycodon grandiflorum is an undemanding plant and will gradually develop over a period of 2 to 3 years. The seeds are small in size, black in color and look like shiny drops. A seedpod contains many Platycodon grandiflorus seeds. Propagation by seeds is the most successful method. You can, however, get seedlings from a nursery to plant in your garden. These seedlings are to be planted in the flower garden about 20 to 25 inches apart. Planting of Platycodon grandiflorum should be carried out in early spring after the last frost. You need to choose a fertile, well drained soil that is slightly acidic. The area should receive full or partial shade.
After planting the seedlings, water the site deeply till the soil is completely moist. Mulching will help retain the moisture and prevent weeds. In winter, the 1 to 2 inch of mulching will protect the roots from frost. The plant does not require fertilizer during the first season. You need to be patient with your Platycodon grandiflorus, as it will not bloom till late spring. When it does bloom, you can freely cut the 'sentimental blue' flowers and create your own flower arrangements around the house. It is a good idea to wear gloves as the milky sap may make your hands sticky.
As soon as the flowers wilt, you should remove them from the plant. This will help promote new blossoms through fall. The Platycodon grandiflorus plants needs water once a week all through the growing season. Do not make the soil soggy. Also, prevent drying of soil as it will hamper your plant growth. You should feed a slow release nitrogen fertilizer once the plants enter their second spring season.
Platycodon Grandiflorus Landscaping Ideas
The attractive Platycodon grandiflorus 'sentimental blue' flowers are used for many gardening as well as landscaping ideas. They are used as a ornamental flower displayed in many gardens with evergreen shrubs and create a mix between perennial borders. It is commonly grown as a patio plant, hedge plants, bordering the side gardens, driveway beds, orchard nursery, bogside border, etc. It is also a popular hanging flower basket plant.
It is always fun to watch the turgid bud swell before it opens into a beautiful star shaped flower. If a well swelled bud is pinched, it will pop open into a flower. The Platycodon grandiflorus is a very easy to maintain flowering plant. It creates some amount of interest in your garden. You will love the not so common blue colored flowers making a splash around your house. Enjoy having butterflies fluttering and bees humming around your beautiful flowers.