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)
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Sorrento, British Columbia Lula, Georgia Northfield, Illinois Springfield, Illinois Calvert City, Kentucky Hebron, Kentucky Pikesville, Maryland Cambridge, Massachusetts Milton, Massachusetts Ocean Grove, Massachusetts Uxbridge, Massachusetts Brighton, Michigan Richland, Michigan Royal Oak, Michigan Florence, Mississippi Washington, Missouri Charlotte, North Carolina Unionville, North Carolina Akron, Ohio Parma, Ohio Hasson Heights, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Aberdeen, South Dakota Agar, South Dakota Austin, Texas Desoto, Texas Eagle Mountain, Texas Mexia, Texas Manassas, Virginia Richmond, Virginia Marinette, Wisconsin