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Plant Profile: Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Sentimental blue’)

Playcodon randiflora Sentimental BlueThe unusual buds of balloon flower would earn the plant a place in my garden even if  ithad no other virtue. They are shaped like a hot air balloon and give a sharp pop when squeezed. This is a plant to delight every child! The buds open up into 2-3” intense blue upward facing flowers that cover the low mounding plant. The lush green foliage looks attractive all summer and turns yellow in the fall, giving all season interest. This is a plant to delight every gardener too!

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Intense blue flower 2-3” wide in summer (long bloom season if dead headed).

Size: 8” H x 8-12”W.

Light: Full sun in North, afternoon shade in South.

Soil: Average, medium, well drained soil with pH acidic to slightly alkaline (6.8-7.7).

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Care: Emerges late in spring so mark it and take care in the spring when cultivating so as not to damage the crown. Must be dead headed to prolong bloom.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance.

Propagation: Division is difficult because of taproot; seeds germinate readily but may not come true to color..

Companion plants: Peach daylilies and iris, artemesia, ‘The Fairy’ rose, pink garden phlox, yarrow, nepeta, sea lavender.

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