Love various colors of flowers in your home garden? Have you ever given a thought to growing balloon flowers? If yes is your answer but do not know where to start from, find below the complete guide that will help you to grow balloon flowers in your home garden.
Balloon flowers look so fascinating and beautiful in the garden areas. This beautiful cluster of puffy flowers can enhance the vibrancy of the gardens. The balloon flowers belong to the family of Bellflower and are very easy to grow. It blossoms throughout the summer, but generally, spring is the perfect time for planting.
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If you are thinking of growing balloon flowers, then here is the step-by-step guide that covers planting ways, growing tips, care tips, and many more. Let’s follow it and grow these beautiful star-shaped flowers.
What is a Balloon Flower?
Balloon flower scientifically known as Platycodon Grandiflorus and generally known by Chinese bellflowers. This belongs to the Campanulaceae family. The balloon flower is a perennial plant that can grow throughout the summer.
The plant doesn’t have a hard woody stem, and once the flowers open, this will appear like a small balloon in the form of a star. The shape of the flower is unique in its own flower family because its other species look like a bell shape.
The balloon flowers recently gained popularity due to their amazing shape, vibrant color, and easy growing nature. However, the size of the balloon flower plant may vary and require minimum maintenance. Also, the plant is native to China, Eastern Russia, Korea, and Japan.
The plant’s roots have been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes as it is rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
What are the Types of Balloon Flower?
The P. Grandiflorus has five different types that produce flowers ranging from purple to pink and white. You can grow all the types to make your garden picturesque and vibrant. There are five types of balloon flowers which are as follows:
1. Astra Pink
The Astra Pink has the same dimensions as the Astra Double. The flowers are slightly light pink. Moreover, the flowers’ petals grow in a single row. You can also grow hibiscus if you love pink color flowers.
2. Fuji Blue
The Fuji blue variety of the balloon flower is taller than other species. Moreover, the width of the plant is around 12 to 18 inches. Besides that, the flowers are small in diameter and have deep blue color petals. The tall height of the plant makes it ideal for growing in the garden areas and on the outer soil bed. Grow poppy flowers if you like blue color.
3. Astra Double
This is a dwarf variety of the balloon flower plant that grows only up to 6 feet to 12 feet taller in length. The flowers are only 3 inches wider, and the petals’ color is lavender blue. This plant species can grow well in all seasons, even with deadheading.
This variety is more vibrant than others. It can grow up to 12 inches tall and 18 inches wider in length. The flower has a single row of petals. The color of the petal is blue, and this is why it looks great in the garden areas.
5. Double Blue
This flower features star-shaped blue color flowers. There are two full layers of the petals, so it is a double blue color.
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How to Grow Balloon Flowers?
The P. Grandiflorus can be propagated with different cuttings, stems, and nursery starts. However, some gardeners can also grow with seeds.
The division method is used occasionally as it may damage the roots of the plants because the roots are fragile and not able to transplant.
Let’s have a look at all the methods that will help you to grow balloon flowers. We have tried to include everything possible that will make you grow balloon flowers in your home garden with ease.
So, without further adieu, have a look at all the methods one by one to grow balloon flowers.
Method 1: Grow Balloon Flowers from Seeds
Take a pot and fill it with nutrient-rich soil. Now, dig out a hole into the soil and sow the seeds. Add water into the soil and keep it in sunlight. The balloon flower seeds require light for germination. So, do ensure to keep it under the sunlight for a few hours a day.
When you observe that the seedlings start producing leaves, keep them outdoors permanently. But do ensure that the frost season has passed away. During frost season, you can keep the plant in indoor spaces. Allow them to bathe in the sunlight and inhale in the fresh air.
Do the process for three to five days to survive better. This process is also known as hardening off. Once it is done, you can transplant the pot or seedlings in your garden soil. Make sure the fragile roots don’t get damaged while transplanting.
Maintain the soil moisture. Also, keep the soil moist and supply enough nutrients if required.
You can also sow the seeds directly into the soil during the spring season. It may not produce flowers unless the plant enters the second growing season. Avoid waterlogging conditions and thin out the seedlings to mature properly and start flowering.
It is easy to grow balloon flowers from the seeds. However, there are a few other methods that you can check below.
Method 2: Grow Balloon Flowers from Cuttings
During the spring season, you can also grow the plant with soft cuttings of the mature plants. Make sure to take those cuttings that have stem tips. Use a sharp knife to cut the cuttings.
Also, ensure that cuttings must be four inches in length. Scratch out the cuttings, so that their stems start appearing. Now, place the cutting into the soil and maintain the ideal condition that supports the growth. Before planting, dip the cuttings of the balloon flower into the root hormone solution as it promotes growth.
Method 3: Grow Balloon Flower from Nursery Starts
The method is best suited in the early spring season for the balloon flowers for the first season. However, you can also plant nursery starts in any growing season so that plants start flowering in the second season.
When you transplant the seedlings, create a hole into the soil so that the root ball can fit into the hole. Cover the roots with soil and maintain the moisture while transplanting.
These are the three ways that let you grow balloon flowers in your home garden and make it bright and colorful.
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Ideal Conditions to Grow Balloon Flowers
The balloon flower is a perennial plant that can grow easily throughout the year, especially with seeds. However, you have to meet some conditions to grow balloon flowers, which are as follows:
- Always sow the seeds in moist soil to start germinating easily.
- Provide enough space and do not overcrowd the plant with other flowers to avoid damage.
- Make sure the soil is well-drained and rich in humidity. You can get ass mulch if required to maintain the moisture in the soil and avoid oversaturation conditions. Do check our guide on how to prepare the soil for planting flowers.
- Balloon flowers plants needs to kept in full or partial sun.
- Avoid overlogged water conditions especially when the plants are in growing stages.
- Make sure you choose the pots that are wider than the plants width and atleast 10-12 inches deep.
- Make sure the soil in the pots is moist but not soggy.
These are all the things that you need to take care of while you grow balloon flowers. Most of the tips will work even if you plant balloon flowers in pots or garden areas.
How to Take Care of Balloon Flower Plant?
The balloon flowers are self-sowing plants which means they start growing themselves once they shed seeds.
At the same time, it can be problematic and extremely challenging to transplant the fragile roots for propagation. Hence, to avoid such conditions, here are some of the best caring tips for propagation that help grow balloon flowers plant easily.
1. Do Not Over Water
Once the balloon flower starts blooming in your garden space or planted, it requires minimal water quantity into the roots. Do not create a soggy or waterlogging condition that may spoil the roots and lead to the plant’s death.
2. Grow Balloon Flowers When Sun is Glowing with Full Potential
The best thing about the balloon flowers is they can tolerate the all-weather season and easily survive in 60-80 degrees of temperature. If you grow balloon flowers in a hot climate or tropical region, keep the plant in shady areas after receiving intense light.
3. Grow Dwarf Varieties in Pots
If you plan to grow the semi-dwarf varieties, then use the ports. However, make sure that the pot is two inches wider than the regular pots. It helps grow the balloon flower to the fullest and ensures that the taproot penetrates deeply into the soil.
4. Avoid Over Fertilizing the Balloon Flowers
This plant can survive in natural soil. You don’t need to add more fertilizer, especially nitrogen, in excess quantities. It may spoil the plant. Maintain the ideal pH 5.5 to 7.5 and check that soil has enough nutrients to support the growth. You can also test the soil to check pH and nutrients.
5. Extra Care to Fragile Roots While Transplanting
When transplanting the root, pay extra attention to the fragile roots. The reason is fragile roots don’t survive while transplanting, and it breaks when you are implementing the division method for propagation. So, when the plant breaks up, especially the crown region, make sure to keep it intact.
These are some of the best caring tips to grow balloon flowers. Make sure you follow all of them to have vibrant color star-shaped balloon flowers in your garden.
Does Balloon Flower Plants Needs Pruning and Maintainance?
Balloon flowers require minimum maintenance and grow ideally in an open environment or favorable conditions. However, sometimes the growth ceases due to a leggy stem. You don’t need to stick over it and monitor it regularly.
So, you need to prune the plant during the growing season and after the growing season. In addition, self-sowing is a problematic condition of balloon flower plants. So, both the issues can be treated by following the methods mentioned below:
1. Leggy Stems
This is one of the common problems you may face while growing this plant. It’s a condition when the plant starts growing horizontally instead of vertically. Since this is a shrub, the tall stem varieties get gangly/leggy.
If you observe such a condition, try to cut half of the stem during the late spring. This will encourage more bushes and branches that are compact.
You can remove all the dead stems to protect the plant when the growing season is over. Pruning is also helpful in growing the plant optimally. Make sure to prune carefully during the growing seasons so that you can prevent damage to the growing buds and shoots.
Avoid adding fertilizers when the soil is fertile enough to support the growth of the balloon flower. Adding nitrogen in excess quantities can lead to gangly effects, hindering plant growth.
Balloon flower plant can be a self-sowing plant only if you provide relevant space to reseed itself. However, it can be a problem if you grow in indoor spaces. But if you are planning to self-sow, then do ensure to provide adequate space in the garden, and you can jump into the lawn spaces to grow it.
The problem here is the balloon flower is limitless once it starts self-sowing. So, if you want to prevent the self-sowing, then limit it with deadheading throughout the season of blossoms. Also, remove the stems that are finished blossoms and about to drop seeds.
Moreover, you can preserve the harvested stems and collect the seeds. The best part is cultivating the hybrid varieties by using the harvested seeds.
Do I Need to Add Fertilizer in Balloon Flower Plant?
The balloon flower plant can grow optimally in any form of soil if fertile. You can apply fertilizer for better growth. However, it is not necessary to add fertilizers. To support the ideal growth of the plant, you can add compost and granular plant fertilizers if the soil lacks relevant nutrients.
Pests and Disease that Affect Balloon Flowers
The balloon flowers are not prone to pests and diseases. They can survive better when the plant is healthy. However, if you overwater the plant, it may encounter pests such as snails and slugs; if you overwater the plant, the roots of the balloon flower start rotting.
Hence, it is possible to avoid such soggy conditions, maintain adequate drainage, and avoid high-temperature conditions. This will help to grow balloon flowers properly.
Frequently Asked Questions to Growing Balloon Flowers
1. Do balloon flowers survive in drought conditions?
Balloon flowers can grow exceptionally in all weather conditions except when extremely hot. It requires minimal water, so it survives in drought conditions. But when the drought condition exceeds, do ensure to add water to keep the soil moist and prevent the flowers from damage.
2. How much time do balloon flowers take to blossom?
The balloon flower can be planted during the spring and start blossoming in the first season. It doesn’t take much time for blossoms. However, if you plant the balloon flower plant during the spring or late fall season, it may grow but doesn’t show blossom until its season starts or the second year of blossoms.
3. Is there any difference between the balloon plant and the balloon flower?
Yes, they are completely different from each other. Balloon flowers belong to different species, and balloon plants belong to a different one. The balloon plant belongs to the milkweed family and is a shrub that can grow up to 6 feet in height. Later, it produces yellow color ball size fruits. On the other hand, balloon flowers are different and don’t propagate further into the fruits.
Grow Balloon Flowers in your Garden!
So, this is all about how to grow balloon flowers in your home garden. You can grow them in your locations without any hassles by following the simple guide. The plant can blossom excellently in sunny conditions and doesn’t require any fertilizers.
All you need to take care of is irrigation. Do not overwater the plant because it damages the roots and may lead to the death of the plant.
Its dwarf varieties can grow excellently in your indoor spaces in a pot and container. In addition to this, do ensure to cut down the dead leaves, twigs, and buds that cease the plant’s growth.
If you keep these few things in mind, we are sure you will be able to grow balloon flowers in no time. Balloon flowers will add that colorfulness that your home garden requires.
What do you think? Will you grow balloon flowers? Will you grow balloon flowers in the garden area or pots? Do tell us in the comments section below.