Campanula Bellflowers are native to Central America and Mexico. They grow in open fields, grassy areas, desert sand dunes, rocky hillsides and other sandy or loose soil environments. They bloom from late spring until early summer when they die back into their stems. Their leaves are usually bright green with pink centers and have three leaflets at the top of each leaflet. These plants make excellent houseplants because they tolerate a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels well. They prefer moist soil and will grow in almost any type of potting mix. You can easily propagate these plants by division. You can also start new plants from seeds which are easy to germinate.
How To Deadhead Campanula Bellflowers
The best time to deadhead campanula bellflowers is during the winter months when the plant’s dormant buds are fully developed and ready for dormancy. When you want to remove them from your garden, simply cut off the tops of the branches using scissors or pruning shears. Be sure not to damage the roots or cause them to rot. Once removed from their stems, they should fall over and die within a day or two.
How To Care For Your Campanula Bellflowers
These plants like full sun but will thrive in partial shade if provided with plenty of water. They like rich, loose soil that drains well but doesn’t become completely dry between watering. The soil should be light and airy with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0.
You can fertilize them during the growing season using a water soluble fertilizer mixed at half the recommended strength. During the winter months, stop fertilizing altogether and allow the plants to become almost completely dry before re-watering.
You can divide your campanula bellflowers during the early spring or late fall. Use a trowel or digging tool to gently lift and separate clumps of foliage. Take care not to damage the roots when you divide them. After dividing them, replant them in their new pot and water thoroughly.
How To Propagate Campanula Bellflowers
You can easily start campanula bellflowers from seeds but they can be a bit tricky to germinate. They like a soil mixture that is lightly saturated with water. Some growers recommend soaking the soil in water for up to 24 hours before sowing the seeds. Fill small containers such as egg cartons with the moistened soil and sprinkle the seeds on the surface.
Cover them lightly with additional soil and water the containers thoroughly. Place the containers in a warm location that receives partial sun such as a windowsill. Keep the soil lightly moist and wait for the seeds to germinate. This process can take up to two weeks so you will need to be patient. Transplant the young plants into individual containers once they have at least two sets of leaves.
Campanula bellflowers can also be propagated through division. Dig up an entire clump during the early spring or late fall and use a trowel or digging tool to gently separate the clump into smaller sections. Be sure to keep the root system intact when you divide them. You can also take cuttings from uninjured, non-flowering stems during the early summer.
Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut 4-8 inch long stems and remove the lower leaves. Allow the cuttings to callus over for a couple of days before planting them in a mixture of soil and peat moss. Plant the cuttings so that just the top set of leaves are covered with soil. Water them in well but do not fertilize. Place the cuttings in a plastic bag or shallow container and place it in a warm location where they will receive indirect light. Check periodically for signs of new growth and remove the bag once roots have formed. Transplant the new plants into individual containers after all danger of frost has passed.
Sources & references used in this article:
Mimesis of bellflower (Campanula) by the red helleborine orchid Cephalanthera rubra by LA Nilsson – Nature, 1983 – nature.com
Population Persistence and Offspring Fitness in the Rare Bellflower Campanula cervicaria in Relation to Population Size and Habitat Quality by AK Eisto, M Kuitunen, A Lammi, V Saari… – Conservation …, 2000 – Wiley Online Library
Resource pulses of dead periodical cicadas increase the growth of American bellflower rosettes under competitive and non-competitive conditions by LH Yang – Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 2013 – Springer
Bacterial wilt of bellflower caused by Ralstonia solanacearum in Japan by S Kusumoto, Y Takikawa – Journal of General Plant Pathology, 2005 – Springer
Complete genome sequence of bellflower vein chlorosis virus, a novel putative member of the genus Waikavirus by JK Seo, HR Kwak, Y Lee, J Kim, MK Kim, CS Kim… – Archives of …, 2015 – Springer
The complete genome sequence of a novel virus, bellflower veinal mottle virus, suggests the existence of a new genus within the family Potyviridae by JK Seo, HR Kwak, MK Kim, JS Kim, HS Choi – Archives of virology, 2017 – Springer
Transgenic Campanula spp. (Bellflower) by K Ishimaru, M Ando, M Takamiya, N Terahara… – Transgenic Crops …, 2001 – Springer