Plant and care for bluebell

Plant and care for bluebell

Care tips

In order to enjoy the filigree carpet of flowers throughout the summer, no time-consuming maintenance is required. If you pay attention to the following measures, Campanula will bloom for what feels like an eternity in the bed and pot:

  • Keep the bellflower constantly moist without causing waterlogging
  • During the flowering period, fertilize organically every 2-3 weeks with compost, horn shavings or nettle stock
  • Clean up dead flowers to get a nice second bloom
  • Cut back close to the ground in autumn or, better still, in spring before the fresh shoots

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  • Bellflower: Flowering and easy-to-care for houseplant

In exposed locations, the perennial receives protection in the form of leaves, straw or coniferous twigs, despite its winter hardiness. Bellflowers in pots or flower boxes (€ 13.18 at Amazon *) move to frost-free, cool and light winter quarters before the first frost. During the dormancy period, water Campanula only enough so that the root ball does not dry out. Fertilizer is not administered at this stage.

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Which location is suitable?

The bellflower feels in good hands in the partially shaded location, as protected as possible from the blazing midday sun. This premise applies across the board to the diverse family of perennials. If you adjust the location down to the last detail to the favored species and variety, the flower will achieve its optimum. The dwarf cluster flower, which is suitable for the rock garden, gives its best in a sunny to sunny place, while the forest bellflower prefers to linger in a cool, shady place.

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The correct planting distance

The perfect planting distance should conform to the selected type of bluebell. The following overview shows recommended distances in the bed for some of the most popular Campanula. Put the perennial in the balcony box, reduce the specified values ​​by approx. 5-6 cm.

  • Carpet bellflower: plant spacing 20 cm (16-18 pieces per square meter)
  • Carpathian bellflower: planting distance 25 cm (16 pieces per square meter)
  • Ball-bellflower: Plant distance 35 cm (8 pieces per square meter)
  • Large-flowered bellflower: Plant distance 40 cm (6-8 pieces per square meter)
  • High umbellate bellflower: Plant distance 70-90 cm (3-6 pieces per square meter)

What soil does the plant need?

The demands on the light and temperature conditions may differ; Campanula largely agree on the nature of the soil. This is how the ideal earth should be structured:

  • Deeply relaxed and humorous
  • Nutrient-rich and fresh and moist to moderately dry
  • Neutral to chalky

Cultivated in the balcony box, the hanging basket (€ 14.99 at Amazon *) or the pot, the bellflower likes to spread its roots in loose compost-based potting soil, enriched with a little sand, expanded clay (€ 17.50 at Amazon *) or lava granulate.

What is the best time to plant?

The merry month of May is the best time to plant a bluebell in the perennial bed, rock garden or on the edge of the wood. From the middle of the month the risk of delayed ground frost is over, so that the young plants grown by hand or bought ready can grow unhindered.

When is the flowering time?

The main blooming season for bluebells extends from June to August. With a little gardening attention, of course, you can extend the flowering period by several weeks into autumn. You can do the trick by regularly cleaning out withered flowers or cutting the perennial in half after the first flowering phase.

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Cut the bellflower correctly

If you cut off dead flowers regularly, the bellflower will respond with a vital re-bloom. You can cut the withered leaves in autumn or early spring to just above the ground. If the bellflower acts as a ground cover, it can be pruned in early spring with the help of a lawnmower set to the maximum cutting height.

Attractive campanula such as the Marien's bellflower are also suitable for long-lasting cut flowers. Ideally, cut the stems early in the morning after the perennial has been watered.

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Watering the bellflower

The bellflower prefers a balanced water balance. Do not allow the root ball to dry out or drown in waterlogging. Avoid overhead watering so that the fragile flowers are not impaired in their beauty. Poured directly onto the floor with the spout of the watering can, Campanula gladly accept the irrigation water.

Fertilize bellflower properly

Since Campanula are among the less consumptive perennials, fertilization is of secondary importance for professional care. If you give a portion of compost or horn shavings in the bed every 2-3 weeks during the flowering period, the requirements are optimally met. In the balcony box or pot, an organic liquid fertilizer completely covers the requirement every 14 days. Please note that from August onwards fertilizer will no longer be administered so that the bellflower can prepare for winter.


The multi-layered Campanula genus has some robust species ready for the perennial bed that are completely hardy. Not all bluebells have this attribute. In order to be on the safe side when in doubt, the following precautions are recommended for safe wintering:

  • Leave the drawn-in leaves to stand until spring as natural winter protection
  • Before the first frost, pile up the campanula with leaves, brushwood or straw
  • If there is clear frost, water on mild winter days

In the balcony box or pot there is always the risk that the root ball will freeze to death behind the thin vessel wall. Therefore, carry bluebells in the tub to the frost-free, dark winter quarters. In this case, the withered foliage has to give way, as it increases the susceptibility to disease.

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Propagate bellflower

Very few Campanula are suitable for classic propagation methods, such as division or cuttings. In contrast, sowing seeds is pleasantly uncomplicated. From the end of February, follow these steps:

  • Fill a seed bowl or small pots with peat sand, coconut fibers or seed soil
  • Mix the very fine seeds with some bird sand and sow
  • As a light germinator, just press the seeds down or sieve a maximum of 0.5 cm with sand or vermiculite
  • Moisten with a fine shower and set up in the indoor greenhouse in the partially shaded location

At a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, the germination time takes 7 to 21 days. Keep the seeds slightly moist at all times and ventilate the mini greenhouse daily. From a height of 3-5 cm, the seedlings are pricked out in individual pots.

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Bellflower in the pot

In the pot, the bellflower sets itself in scene on the sunny to partially shaded balcony with floral splendor. If you plant Campanula in loose potting soil, with a drainage made of potsherds over the water drain in the bottom of the pot, the plant is undemanding. How to properly care for the pretty perennial:

  • If the top 1-2 cm of the substrate is dry, it is poured
  • Apply liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from May to July
  • Clean up withered flowers for a second bloom

Although numerous Campanula species are hardy, they do not survive the cold season in pots outdoors. So that the root ball does not freeze to death, put the bellflower in the frost-free, dark winter quarters in autumn. Before doing this, cut off all parts of the plant close to the ground to take the wind out of the sails of diseases and pests.

Is bluebell poisonous?

The degree of toxicity in Campanula is still a controversial issue. Until we have clear information about the toxicity, we recommend careful handling of bluebells. Keep children and pets away from the flowers. All planting and maintenance work should be carried out with gloves. Cuttings are only disposed of on the compost heap if neither grazing cattle nor horses can get there.

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Are Campanula suitable for house plants?

The evergreen star bellflower (Campanula isophylla) is wonderfully suitable as a houseplant for the hanging basket thanks to its creeping growth with lush tendrils up to 20 cm in length. The upholstered bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana) with blue or white star blossoms is also popular for indoor culture. Other varieties, however, are not always suitable for the window sill at home. When buying, therefore, ask specifically whether the favorite bellflower does not run out of steam when the room temperature is cozy and warm.

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Is every bluebell hardy?

The multi-faceted Campanula genus awaits with species and varieties that thrive in almost all parts of the world. So you shouldn't expect frost hardship from Mediterranean bluebells, while other specimens can even stand up to freezing frost. Popular species with harmless winter hardiness are:

  • Carpathian bellflower (Campanula carpatica): hardy to -40 degrees
  • Ball-bellflower (Campanula glomerata): hardy to - 45 degrees
  • Peach-leaved bellflower (Campanula persicifolia): hardy to -35 degrees

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Which bluebells are suitable for ground cover?

Be on the lookout for campanula, which crawl and carpet the ground with a flowering carpet, there is a diverse range of species and varieties to choose from. A selection of the most beautiful ground cover plants at a glance:

Cushion bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana)

The magnificent species covers the sunny rock garden and the thin dry stone wall with a lush flow of flowers within a short time. The up to 70 cm long tendrils are covered with violet-blue, large bell flowers from June to August and a second bloom in September.

Small umbelliferous bellflower (Campanula lactiflora)

This pretty ground cover is there wherever a flower-rich pillow planting is sought in sunny to partially shaded locations. With white or blue star blossoms, this runners-forming Campanula species is recommended as a contrasting underplanting with majestic roses or as a wreath of your most beautiful perennial bed as a distinctive border planting.

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Nice varieties

  • Blue clips: sky-blue Carpathian bellflower for the rock garden, hardy and robust; Height of growth 20-25 cm
  • Sarastro: dark purple blooming Campanula punctata with flowers up to 10 cm in size; Growth height 70-100 cm
  • Alba: cluster of bellflower with pure white flowers in dense panicles on strong stems; Height 40-50 cm
  • Blue Bloomers: semi-double flowers in bright purple-blue from June to August; Height 90-100 cm
  • Birch Hybrid: magnificent carpet bellflower, the ideal ground cover with a long flowering time; Height 10-15 cm