How to Grow and Care for Balloon Flower Plants
Perennial, Platycodon Grandiflora
You're gonna just love growing Balloon Flowers, especially if you have kids.
As the name implies, the immature flower buds puff up, and resemble hot air
balloons. Squeeze the flower buds, and they pop! You and the kids may find
it irresistible to pop the buds. But, save a few, as the flowers are attractive,
This low maintenance plant is native to Eastern Asia, Balloon flowers open
into a two inch across, five-pointed star of violet blue, pink, or white,
depending upon variety. But, that's not all. In the Fall, the foliage turns
ant attractive gold color.
Balloon Flowers are great as cut flowers. But, the stem contains a milky
sap. After cutting, seal the cut end of the stem with a lit match or candle.
Balloon Flowers attract butterflies.
Try growing them in containers, flower beds, or as borders.
Plant Height: 12" - 18"
Balloon Flowers are grown from seed. They can be directly seeded into your
Sow seeds in the spring, and barely cover with 1/16" soil. Or set them on
the soil, and lightly water them in. Space seeds or seedlings 8"-10" apart.
You can root cuttings from established
plants. Use young shoots.
Plant division is also possible, but more difficult.
Days to Germination: 5 - 21
How to Grow Balloon Flower Plants:
Easy to grow plants prefer full to partial sun.
They like most, rich soil, that is well drained. They do not tolerate wet
feet for extended periods, and do not do well in droughts.
Water plants regularly, especially in hot, dry weather.
Fertilize plants in the spring, with a high nitrogen formula, And again in
early summer, with a general purpose formula.
Pinch back growing tips, to get fuller, bushier plant growth.
Plants may need staking.
Deadhead blooms to promote more flowers.
For winter protection, add a couple of inches of mulch over the plants. This
is very important in colder regions.
Flowers Bloom: Late Spring, and again in late summer
Insect and Disease:
Balloon Flowers are resistant to insects and disease. If insect or disease
problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and
Plants are deer resistant.