Campanula (kam-pan-yew-luh); Bellflowers, Bellflower Family (Campanukaceae). A large genus native to Europe and Asia, varieties differ more in plant size and growth characteristics than in color, but the graceful bell-shaped flower occurs in all species. Almost all bellflowers are blue or white, but there are a few pinks in an enormous range of subtle shadings.
C.carpatica (kat-pat-ik-uh) is a hardy, very sturdy perennial 10 to 15 inches high. Long lived and persistent where summers are cool, this species often self-seeds. C.glomerata (glom-er-ray-tuh); Clustered BellFlowers is a hardy perennial, up to 2 feet high, is excellent for a strong accent in the mixed border. C.persicifolia (per-siss-if-foh-lee-uh); Peach-leaved Bellflower, one of the taller bellflowers, is 2 to 3 feet high, each strong stem is hung with one or more lavender-blue or white blossoms, each 2 inches across.
Full Sun to Part Shade. Low-growing clumps of basal foliage spread to form an attractive ground cover. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil; but grows best in fertile soil with a neutral to alkaline pH. Keep the soil moist but make sure it is well-drained. Campanula will grow in either full sun or partial shade, though some shade is recommended in areas with very hot summers, as it is generally intolerant of the extreme heat. The delicate flower colors are best preserved with some shade. Summer mulch is beneficial and shear plants back to basal growth if foliage is significantly affected by summer heat. Cut plants back after flowering to keep them more compact and help prevent self-seeding. Propagate by seed or division.
Attributes: Border plants, Container, Rock Gardens, mass planting in lightly shaded woodland areas can be left alone to naturalize. Attracts hummingbirds. Deer and rabbit resistant.
PLANTING: Set plants 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the ultimate size of the species. Plant in fertile, well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil, high in organic matter. Campanula will thrive in sun or partial shade.
MAINTENANCE: A light winter mulch is beneficial. Taller species or cultivars may require staking. A balanced fertilizer, applied each spring, will promote lush growth, and removal of spent flowers will promote additional flower production.