Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Balloon Flower, Chinese Bellflower, Japanese Bellflower
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Komachi'

Family: Campanulaceae (kam-pan-yew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Platycodon (plat-ee-KO-don) (Info)
Species: grandiflorus (gran-dih-FLOR-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Komachi

Synonym:Campanula glauca
Synonym:Platycodon glaucus
Synonym:Campanula grandiflora

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MaryArneson On Nov 10, 2013, MaryArneson from Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I started a few Platycodon Komachi from seed about 15 years ago. They have come back reliably ever since, despite some years of neglect. The clump that has been best-protected from competing weeds has gradually increased in size. Even one that has been surrounded by aggressive tree seedlings manages to hang on and bloom. The plants do come up late in the spring, but the leaves are distinctive, so it isn't too hard to recognize them when weeding. They are late bloomers and keep blooming long into fall if dead-headed,. The flowers are fun to include in bouquets because of their novel balloon shape. The little balloons are so tightly closed that you can pop them by squeezing hard. I plan to start another bunch of seeds this year.

Positive Aphthona On Oct 9, 2013, Aphthona from Fargo, ND (Zone 4b) wrote:

I like this plant. I started it from purchased seed about 25 years ago, so not all seeds are sterile. I sill have the same two plants I set out. However I have never had a new seedling show up anywhere. My guess would be that because the flower is closed, it needs to be hand pollinated to produce viable seeds.

Neutral BlakeInCanada On Jul 15, 2011, BlakeInCanada from Kitchener
Canada (Zone 5a) wrote:

I'd like to see a source saying that the seeds are sterile.

It should be noted somewhere here that the Komachi Balloon Flower does not bloom. The buds puff up and eventually shrivel up all at once. To my knowledge, this is the only type of balloon flower that does this, so if you see pictures of platycodon with no opened blooms, it is probably Komachi.

Also of note, it is taller than the average platycodon.

Positive plumsugar On Aug 13, 2009, plumsugar from Newport News, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Propagates politely into slightly larger clumps each year.
Prune back very hard after the first spring growth to encourage more blooms and prevent the plant from being leggy.
Offers an abundance of seeds in fall but they are sterile.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arlington, Massachusetts
Grand Haven, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Laurel, Montana
Plainfield, New Jersey
Wilmington, North Carolina
Fargo, North Dakota
Athens, Ohio
Knoxville, Tennessee
Newport News, Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin

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