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Platycodon (plat-ik-koh-don) balloon flower, Campanulaceae Family. Platycodon is a showy perennial from eastern Asia. Long lived and hardy, it needs plenty of water, full sun and a loose porous soil.

Platycodon grandiflorum (gran-di-floh-rum) grows 1.5 to 2.5 feet I height, with fine, blue, pink or white blooms that are 3 inches across when fully, plumply balloon-shaped before blooming in July and August. Shoots appear very late in spring; so it may be beneficial to mark clumps so they are not harmed by early cultivation.

Platycodon or Balloon Flowers are easy, trouble-free perennials that thrive average, medium, well-drained soil. They can easily adapt to grow in either full sun or part shade. Be patient in the spring, as this genus is slow to emerge. Division and transplanting are possible but tricky because of the fragile, fleshy root systems of these plants, and it is probably best to leave plants undisturbed once established. Cut the whole plant back after the first hard frost.

Attributes: flower borders, containers, cut flowers, mass plantings. Deer resistant.