It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

Campanula, Balloon Flower, Chinese Bellflower, Japanese Bellflower 'Komachi'

Platycodon grandiflorus

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


On Oct 9, 2013, Aphthona from Fargo, ND (Zone 4a) 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.


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.


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.