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Bellflower, harebell

Campanula Bellflower from Lubera

The bellflower (Campanula) is an all-rounder that almost everyone knows. Less known is how incredibly versatile it is. In the Lubera® Garden Shop alone, far more than 30 different species and varieties of these perennials are available. There is something for every garden.

   
 
Campanula punctata 'Sarastro'

Large-flowered bellflower 'Sarastro'

From £6.40 *

   
 

More information about Campanula

 

It owes its name to the bell-shaped flowers in white or violet-blue, which ensure that it is very easy to recognise. In addition to countless garden forms, there are said to be over 500 different game species worldwide, which are mainly found in the northern hemisphere. The well-known species Campanula rotundifolia is commonly known as harebell in England and bluebell in Scotland and Ireland.

 

 

Which to buy?

 

For the garden, there are low, partly cushion-like growing species to buy for the rock garden, but also higher growing ones that are suitable as bedding plants. Among the low species is, for example, the Campanula carpatica 'Blaue Clips', which not only thrives in a rock or front garden but can also be easily integrated into a potted planting on the terrace. It has heart-shaped leaves and relatively small, but very many flowers. With up to 80 cm, the peach-leaved Campanula persicifolia grows much higher. It is one of the best-known representatives of its genus.

 

Origin

 

Campanulas are most frequently found from the Mediterranean to the Caucasus. The different representatives of the genus have specialised in very different locations. Therefore, the choice of the soil, which is optimal for these plants, also varies. They occur at the edge of the forest as well as on the meadow or in rock steppes. Even at an altitude of over 2000 metres, certain species grow, such as the bearded bellflower, in calcareous soil. From observations in nature, it is easy to deduce where the different species like it best in your own garden.

 

What goes with it?

 

Especially beautiful to look at in the garden bed are the delicate purple flowers of the variety 'Grandiflora Coerulea'. With its loose growth, it fits well in gardens and plantings with natural flair. It can be effectively combined with delicate grasses, yarrow or marguerites. Even more impressive is the Campanula lactiflora 'Alba'. It grows up to one metre high and with its white, star-shaped flowers can be combined well with other perennials such as cranesbill. Partnership with higher roses is also recommended. If you like extravagant colour combinations, combine Campanula lactiflora with the orange-red torch lily.

 

As a houseplant

 

In addition to the many garden forms for planting out, there is also a bellflower species that is suitable for a balcony box and as a houseplant. It is Campanula isophylla with evergreen, fine leaves and pendulous growth. With good care, it flowers from June to September. If cultivated indoors, it needs a cool place with plenty of light and regular fertilisation. Especially during the flowering period, it is recommended to fertilise the plant once a week. In the winter, you can give your houseplants or balcony plants a resting period without fertilisation. Here they need much less water.

 

Planting

 

The flowering time of the bellflower is concentrated in the summer. Depending on the species, it lasts from spring to early autumn (May to September). Some species, such as the hanging cushion types, even offer a second bloom after pruning, thus extending the flowering season. While those species that are suitable for flower beds usually prefer sunny to semi-shady locations on fresh, permeable soils, those that grow in rock gardens can cope well with dry conditions. In general, this plant is very popular with bees and is considered a valuable bee pasture. Most bellflowers are hardy; there are only a few that are annual or biennial. A well-known representative of the biennial plants is the Canterbury bell variety, which has relatively large, conspicuous flowers. Like many other species, it can be sown directly outdoors.

 

Is it poisonous?

 

It is not clear from the literature whether bellflowers are edible or whether they contain small amounts of toxins. It is therefore important to be careful and not to eat the plant parts.

 

Care and propagation

 

Bellflowers require only little maintenance. The higher growing species and varieties should be supported in the summer so that the plant clumps do not fall apart even after heavy rainfall. If you want to rejuvenate or propagate your bellflowers after a few years, you do this in the spring or autumn by dividing the existing plants. Propagation by division is especially recommended for older plants that are getting a little lighter.

Seeds of many species can also be collected and used for sowing in the spring. Some plants also spread themselves without our help. Once you have established these plants permanently in your garden, you will not want to miss them anymore with their diversity and the bright flower bells that provide colour for many weeks.

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