Balloon Flower, Chinese Bellflower, Japanese Bellflower
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Mariesii'

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

Category:

Perennials

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pink

Medium Blue

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Good Fall Color

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

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

Sorrento, British Columbia

Lula, Georgia

Springfield, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Calvert City, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Buckfield, Maine

Pikesville, Maryland

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Milton, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Swansea, Massachusetts

Uxbridge, Massachusetts

Brighton, Michigan

Richland, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Florence, Mississippi

Washington, Missouri

Charlotte, North Carolina

Monroe, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Oil City, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Agar, South Dakota

Austin, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Mexia, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Manassas, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Marinette, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

7
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On May 6, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

'Mariesii' is shorter than the species (1-2' vs 2 1/2 - 3'). I suspect that a lot of what's sold as 'Mariesii' isn't true to name, because so many are a great deal taller. In any case, now there are cultivars/seed strains that are even shorter.

This tough and adaptable perennial has many virtues, producing lots of blue-violet flowers over a long season. My issue with it is that the flowers last only a day, and the deadheads so very conspicuously detract from the appearance of the plant as they turn a very light tan. Also, deadheading seems to be required for continued flowering. I no longer grow Platycodon grandiflorus because I find the deadheading is simply too much work.

Positive

On May 4, 2014, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant survived its first winter here which was hard and dry.

Positive

On Jun 14, 2010, Steve_in_NC from Monroe, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is yet another specimen (see also stoke's aster) that I once stuck in the ground years ago in a little-used section of my property. I rediscovered it after seven years of neglect, happily flowering. It survived drought and fought off the weeds. There may be about a dozen plants there now. I plan to divide them this winter and give them more space. This plant is a survivor! I warmly recommend it for your low-maintenance perennial garden.

Positive

On Aug 10, 2009, LouC from Desoto, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This now being the 4th summer with the blue balloon, I have learned that the falling over is quite natural and I have given up staking or caging. After it falls over there will soon be additional blooms standing straight up with even more blooms. Just took awhile to let it do it's own thing to see just what that might be.

Positive

On Aug 7, 2008, angihansen from Watkinsville, GA wrote:

A carefree plant that is very late to come up in the spring, so it's great to mix in with spring-flowering bulbs... these babies will just start to show their heads as the tulip foliage is fading. They're picky about root disturbance so it's best to leave them along once planted (unless you move them while dormant). My neighbor and I both have some of these, and they're pretty and heavy flowering. Intriguingly, the height for individual plants can vary dramatically--some are only 12-18" high, while other plants just a couple of feet away are 3 feet high. We haven't yet figured out what accounts for the difference...

Positive

On Jul 25, 2007, kizilod from Uxbridge, MA wrote:

2007:
I bought this a three pack of this plant the autumn before last. They are now 48" tall (twice the height they are supposed to grow) and flopping over. I don't think it is a simple case of mislabeling, because one plant arrived in bad shape, didn't survive the winter, and they sent me a free replacement the next spring. The replacement is now just as tall as the other plants. Next year I plan to pinch them back in late spring in an attempt to prevent the need for staking.

Update 2010:
I have been cutting the plants back to about 8" high in late May/early June for several years now. It does help with the floppiness, and as a bonus, the plants are much fuller and produce more flowers. Cutting back the plants delays the start time of flowering by a bit.

Positive

On Mar 3, 2006, jmb_nc from Charlotte, NC wrote:

I love this plant. Last year it started blooming in late spring/early summer, and produced tons of flowers. Late in the summer (August), it seemed to be done, so I cut it back to the ground, and within a few weeks, it had started growing back, reaching approximately half the height of the original growth, and it had lots more flowers right into fall. I like how the flower looks like a balloon at first, and then "pops" into a lovely flower, closing to a balloon again at night. Very hardy in the hot NC summer.

Positive

On Oct 23, 2004, SalmonMe from Springboro, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Very pretty, shorter variety that I did not need to stake. Be careful with pruning/deadheading. Only remove spent bloom, NOT the entire stalk -- you will remove newly growing buds and greatly decrease flowering time. Avoid moving plant around, its roots do best when left undisturbed. Also, not a good choice around annuals for this reason. VERY long lived once established and low-maintenance. Late emergence in spring, so be sure to mark it well before cutting back. Pretty yellow color for fall foliage.