Today in this article, we are going to learn all the tips in order to grow and care for Balloon Flower.Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flower) belongs to the family Campanulaceae and a sole member of the plant genus ‘Platycodon’.
Balloon flowers are the best decorations for birthdays and other occasions. As per the survey, Balloon flowers are the most sold items by deliveries. Even a balloon flower is the perfect gift for many occasions.
It is a perennial plant that is native to East Asian countries of China, Japan, Korea, and East Siberia. It is now widely grown throughout the world as an ornamental plant.
The balloon flower meaning and origin comes from the Greek words ‘platys’ and ‘kodon’, which translates into a ‘broad bell’.
Grandiflorus, on the other hand, means large. The plant is commonly referred to as balloon flower because its flowers form balloon-shaped buds before bursting into a bell-shaped flower.
They are also recognized by various other names across the world – Korean bellflower, Chinese bellflower, Japanese bellflower, common balloon flower, etc.
#1 Can You Grow Balloon Flower In Pots?
As far as their beautiful flowers and ornamental properties are concerned, I can strongly recommend them to you. They are quite easy to grow inside the home, pots, and outside in the garden as well.
#2 How Tall Does a Balloon Flower Grow?
Balloon flower usually grows very tall, approximately 12 to 20 inches high and looks great in Zen rock gardens. There are many varieties of Balloon Flower-like blue, white, and pink varieties.
Apart from this balloon flower is a long-lived plant if taken care well
#3 How Long Does Balloon Flowers Take To Grow From Seeds?
Balloon Flowers from Seeds usually takes two to three weeks to germinate well. But again it depends on the other factors like sunlight, water, and soil.
It’s a good idea to move seed them into the larger pots before transplanting to your garden.
#4 Growing Tips For Balloon Flower
How to grow balloon flowers? – Balloon flowers can be grown from seeds sown indoors or directly in the garden.
Let us start by explaining how to make a balloon flowers step by step indoors. The seeds can be sown in the early spring season indoors. Sow them in a well-drained soil that has sufficient moisture.
- Make sure to not cover the seeds with soil and provide sufficient light by keeping them in a bright and warm spot so that they can germinate easily.
- It is advised to keep the soil moist and not soggy. Within two weeks, you will see the balloon flower seedlings coming out of the soil.
- They can be then kept in bigger pots to strengthen their roots. The balloon flower root needs to be carefully allowed to grow as even though it is fleshy, it is still quite delicate.
- As they start to grow and the final frost has passed, you can transplant them outdoors. If you plant them outdoors in large drifts, these plants will provide support to each other as they grow taller. You will not need any stakes this way in the garden.
How Do You Make Easy Balloon Flowers?
The easiest way to grow these plants is by sowing the seeds directly in the garden during the late spring season.
As they don’t have to be transplanted, you will achieve a better success rate in making balloon flowers.
However, this way they will have comparatively less time to grow during the active summer season.
So, they won’t grow as large as the early-planted indoor ones. In any case, the seed-grown plants don’t produce flowers in the first year.
Balloon flowers are also good at self-seeding. The spent flowers that fall from the plants develop into seeds.
If you avoid deadheading, you will see that some of the seeds naturally germinate from the ground. They will mature by the next year and will produce gorgeous flowers as seen in the pictures of balloon flowers.
#5 Do Balloon Flower Spread?
The balloon flowers grow up to a height if 2 to 3 feet. They do not spread rapidly over the years. In fact, it is difficult to transplant them as well because of their deep fleshy roots.
#6 How To Care a Balloon Plant
The balloon flowers care needs are limited as it is a sturdy plant and requires very low-maintenance. Here are some ideal growth requirements for the plant:
The balloon flower plant prefers full sun to grow flowers in big clusters. In the warmer regions, however, it is better to grow them in partial shade.
Balloon flower plants grow ideally in a well-drained, mildly acidic soil with pH in between 5.8 to 6.8. You can add some nutritious compost or organic matter in the spring as well.
You need to water the plant initially when it is growing. Once it matures, you don’t need to water them frequently as they are sturdy plants and can withstand short spells of drought easily.
- The balloon flower plants don’t need to be fed heavily. Adding a bit of compost or organic matter during the spring season enhances their flower production.
- Also, if you add some compost on top in the fall season, it helps in replenishing the plant to be ready for the next year.
- Balloon flowers also have a strong resistance against pests and diseases. The only care that needs to be taken is to check for snails and slugs as they feed on the plants sometimes and make them weak.
- To deter these insects naturally, you can plant garlic or chives near the plants and that will solve your problem.
#5 Temperature And Humidity
The balloon flower plant has a strong tolerance to both temperature and humidity. It can survive on almost all levels of humidity.
As far as ideal temperature is concerned, they prefer climates with 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Even in warmer regions, they can survive under partial shade in the afternoons.
#7 Balloon Flower Plant Facts- Health Benefits
In ancient times, all parts of the plant were used in East Asian countries as herbal medicine. But for the past few decades, it is commercially cultivated in China, and only the platycodon root is used for making medicines.
Usually, the roots of 2-3 years old plants are used and they are pulled out in the late spring season. These medicines have applications in herbal medicine for treating throat and lung-related ailments.
- There are multiple platycodon root benefits since they are quite helpful in relieving excess mucus formation in the throat. Treating cough, common cold, and sore throat, and also used in getting rid of bronchitis and pain in the intestinal region.
- There are few countries like Japan and Korea where the parts of plants are still consumed and used in preparing meals. For instance, the fresh balloon flower leaves are topped on salads in Japan. And Koreans have found the platycodon root uses in preparation of soups and pickles.
- The platycodon or balloon flower extract has many healthy substances such as saponins, betulin, volatile oil, sterols, phytosterol, and glucose.
- The saponins, for instance, restrict gastric secretion and offer protection and healing power against ulcers. These substances and some other organic compounds found in the roots have considerable health benefits.
- The balloon flower root extract is sold in various forms such as liquid extracts and tinctures. Most often it is served in the form of a Korean balloon flower tea or more commonly under the local name ‘bellflower tea’.
- The roots of bellflowers are white and have a bitter taste. But the bellflower tea benefits overshadow its taste. It is believed that bellflower root health benefits are extensive.
- It possesses anti-inflammatory, digestive, antibacterial, expectorant, antitussive, analgesic, and mildly sedative properties.
#8 How To Care White Balloon Flower
Platycodon Grandiflorus White is also known as Balloon Flower. It needs to be given proper care when growing from seeds. But once you plant them, it turns out to be quite a low-maintenance plant that produces beautiful large white flowers.
If they are grown from seeds in peat pots, make sure they get sufficient light to germinate. After they sprout, you can transplant them in the garden by keeping a space of 10 inches between them.
They can also be grown directly in the garden during the spring season. These plants prefer well-drained and slightly acidic soil that has sufficient moisture.
In warmer areas, it is advised to plant them in partial shade. With little pruning and excellent tolerance towards pests and diseases, these plants require little attention to blossom.
#9 Is Balloon Flower Poisonous To Animals?
So if anyone asks you are balloon flowers poisonous? or more specifically are balloon flowers poisonous to dogs? You can tell them no. Most of the plants and flowers are toxic to animals. But since Balloon Flower grows tall. it keeps your pets and yourself safe.
They are completely safe and as mentioned earlier, they have numerous health and medicinal benefits in Asian medicine.
#10 When Balloon Flower Sprouts?
The balloon flower is a perennial flower plant. You will notice the bloom within two weeks after you plant them. You need to make sure that the soil has sufficient moisture, especially around the new sprouts.
They produce flowers in the first year (not the seed-grown ones) and blossom throughout the summer.
#11 How To Deadhead Balloon Flowers?
Wondering when or how to deadhead balloon flowers? Well, we encourage you to deadhead them at mid-season and remove the spent blossoms as well.
This will help in avoiding the process of new seeding and will make sure the plant stays focused on being more productive and full during the season.
So, deadheading balloon flowers will allow the plant to produce even more flowers throughout the summer.
We will take you through the step-by-step process to deadheading balloon flowers DIY:
Do weekly inspections in the blooming season. Check for drooping flowers or the ones that have developed seed heads to remove them. You should also remove the dead/damaged balloon flower leaves.
Check for any drooping flower clusters near the stem. Using your fingers, break off the blossom head about a quarter inch from the closest set of leaves on the stem.
You can use small shears to carefully trim the dead/damaged leaves.
If you notice that the plant has limited flowering, cut the plant to half its size at mid-summer. You will see that the proper blooming will begin within the next two weeks.
#12 How To Care Balloon Flower Leaves
- The leaves of balloon flower plants are 1 to 3 inches in length with toothed edges. They have a distinctly narrow and oval shape with a leathery texture.
- Though they have a beautiful blue-green or gray-green shade growing alternately on the plant stem most of the year, they do turn yellow during the autumn season.
- These plants are quite sturdy with a strong resistance to pests and diseases. They grow ideally in the sun or partial shade and prefer a cool environment in warmer areas in summer.
- Make sure the soil has sufficient moisture and is well-drained with a slight acidity. Then you don’t need to worry about them growing just perfectly.
#13 Varieties Of Balloon Flowers
Balloon flowers are often sold in the market without any mention of their variety. These plants do grow well nonetheless and bloom beautifully. However, if you do want to know about their pedigreed varieties, here are a few worth mentioning:
#1 Platycodon Grandiflorus (Astra Series):
We advise you to get seeds from this plant. When this variety matures, you will notice that they bloom double with ten petals in pink, blue, or white.
The ‘Astra pink’ series is preferred by a lot of gardeners as it produces a cluster of bell-shaped, pale pink balloon flowers.
#2 Platycodon Grandiflorus (Fuji Series):
This particular variety is widely available in the market. They are the tallest of the lot with close to two-and-a-half feet stem height and flowers blooming in pink, blue, or white.
#3 Platycodon Grandiflorus (Fuji Series):
Platycodon Grandiflorus (Komachi): This particular variety produces gorgeous purple-blue flowers. You will notice that they stay constantly in a puffy pillow stage.
#4 Platycodon Grandiflorus (Sentimental Blue):
This particular variety is a dwarf variety of balloon flower plants. They grow up to 6 inches in height with big clusters of purple flowers that are 1 to 2 inches in width.
#14 Transplanting Balloon Flowers Care Tips
Transplanting Balloon Flowers needs to be done carefully as they have deep fleshy roots. It is advised to water the plant properly the day before you plan to move it.
- You can even place your shovel carefully by the drip line almost as far as the leaves go. In the case of a dormant balloon flower, avoid the center and dig carefully around the edge so that you don’t disturb the taproot.
- Now you can lift the plant and place it tilted on a plastic bag so that the roots are protected. Also, avoid keeping it under direct sunlight and prefer a cool place.
- Now measure the roots of the plant and dig a new hole where you want to transplant it. Make sure that the new hole is a few inches deeper and wider to place the plant into it comfortably.
- Now add some good amount of planting mix and soil from the old planting area into this new hole along with a bit of water.
- As the new hole is ready, put the plant into it carefully and fill it up with the soil in a way that it’s not too compacted for the plant.
Do remember not to place the top of the taproot too deep or showing on the surface. You can adjust the plant a bit accordingly but don’t disturb the plant again and again.
If you think you have done a good job, then properly water the plant and you have successfully transplanted the plant to make balloon flowers.
#15 Yellow Balloon Flower Care Tips
The yellow appearance of this plant is observed during the autumn season, especially around late October. It is so because of the leaves getting a rich yellow butter shade during this season.
They shine even more with the sunlight and produce a beautiful shade of yellow for these plants.
#16 Pruning of Balloon Flower
The best part about the balloon flower plants is that they are quite low-maintenance. You don’t have to prune them necessarily. If you want, you can trim the stems a bit after the blooming season so that the plant doesn’t become leggy.
This way you will be strengthening the base of the plant by making it bushier and avoid using stakes while they grow in height. Also, deadheading the plant will allow more flowers to bloom for a longer period.
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Though people are increasingly becoming aware of the bellflower root nutrition facts and benefits, it still needs to be consumed carefully. We advise you to take the extract in moderations and as per the recommended does only.
Excessive intake of this extract might cause some side effects such as including nausea, vomiting, fatigue, restlessness and sweating. So, to make the most of bellflower root benefits, some moderation and caution are extremely important.
On your next visit to the garden store, if you do find a sign that says balloon flowers for sale, go ahead and buy it. Bring this beautiful low-maintenance plant home and enjoy the cluster of flowers in summer.
My name is Olivia, staying in the United States, and I love to have plants in my garden. Lots of plants are there in my balcony, indoor and outdoor garden also. Here I am trying to share useful tips on gardening, how to grow and care for various plants, etc. Check out more.