Producing charming bell-shaped, tubular or star-shaped flowers loved by pollinators, campanulas or bellflowers have been a garden favourite for many years. Fabulous planted en masse in the middle or at the back of a border, these charming hardy perennials can be used to create a striking statement in the cottage or contemporary garden. Try mixing them with other perennials such as astrantias, hostas, eryngiums, achilleas, euphorbias or lime green/silver grasses. They make good cut flowers.
Plant in fertile, neutral to alkaline soil in sun or partial shade. Cut back after flowering to benefit from a second, smaller flush of flowers later in the season and to prevent self-seeding.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Snails and slugs: these pests enjoy munching on young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage!
Leaf spots:these bacterial/fungal diseases can usually be seen as sooty growths or spots on the leaves — these will progressively turn brown with a yellow margin before eventually dying. Remove and dispose of any infected leaves.
Powdery mildews:these fungal diseases usually caused by planting in the shade or by poor air circulation can be seen in the form of white, powdery coating on the leaves. Cut off any infected material before disinfecting your scissors.
Rust: this fungal disease generally appearing in the form of bronze pustules on the underside of the leaves can dramatically impact the appearance and strength of campanulas. Since humidity promotes infection, avoid growing plants in areas with poor air circulation and make sure to water them in the morning so that their leaves are able to dry out quickly. Destroy any affected foliage.