2 Platycodon questions

luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)July 26, 2014

I bought these 3 a month or so ago. Two (the outer ones) were labeled as 'Sentimental Blue' and the center one as 'Fuji Blue.' The Missouri Botanical Garden site says that Sentimental Blue is a dwarf, 6" to 12" tall. All three of these are roughly the same height (about 14") and virtually the same color.

Question 1: Is it likely all three are Fuji Blue?

Question 2: Will they always be this floppy?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i found.. that a lot of floppy plants.. are overfertilized... did you fert them.. ????

i dont know about the cultivar ???s

ken

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:09PM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

I may have added bagged manure; maybe only compost. Can't remember. But I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:34PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I don't find for the most part that plant size in their first year is often accurate. You might want to reevaluate next season.

I don't grow either of these varieties of Platycodon.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:41PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

IME, Sentimental Blue is a bit taller than that. More like 12-14 inches. Fuji Blue is more like 20-24 inches. However, they both are seed strains, so individual plants can vary.

As for the floppiness, the shorter balloonflowers tend to stand up better, but they aren't perfect. Given more mature growth and less rain, they'll do better. I'm quite used to having to stake the tall ones, but the dwarfs I let do their thing.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:49PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

I used to have three "Sentimental Blue" in a row. They ranged in height from under 1 foot to over two feet. I could never figure out why. And mine got floppier as time went on. I only have one left at the moment and it's literally lying on the ground.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:51PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Very pretty LLS.

Next season you can minimize the floppiness by cutting it back by a third or more in June or so.

What a coincidence with your post as today as I was excited to see my first balloon flower of the season (rabbits I think have chewed most of my platycodon flower buds). But what an absolutely perfectly formed flower:

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 13:44

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:11PM
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SunnyBorders(5A)

Good information above, including re the variability with seed strains.

Have used both.

'Sentimental Blue' is identified as dwarf, 'Fuji Blue' is not.

For my purposes, I much prefer the taller balloon flowers, though I prefer 'Hakone Blue' (double) to 'Fuji Blue'.

In my experience, the taller balloon flowers grow with straighter stems than 'Sentimental Blue', though they still need a bit of direction (staking) to keep them growing straight up rather than at an angle.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:49PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I have many Sentimental Blue around my yard - they are indeed dwarf, only ~6" tall, all of them, in different light conditions. You don't have Sentimental Blue.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I had bought 6 "dwarf" balloon flower plants years ago and quickly realized they were not as dwarf as I thought they would be. I have seen much shorter ones than mine planted in other gardens that require no staking. Mine flop and I don't fertilize at all. They are in probably more shade than they should be so maybe that is a factor. However the do bloom profusely.
I use this to hold up an entire plant. In fact I use these wire fences all over to hold up anything bushy and floppy. They were from K-Mart.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:22AM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

MKX - I think you summed it up well: I don't have Sentimental Blue. I appreciate declarative sentences, though I often don't use them myself!

Thyme - I have gotten really frustrated with the various, often very expensive, plant supports. I used similar "fences" to hold up chicken wire when I was trying to protect an aquilegia I had grown from seed (chrysantha) that the rabbits loved. They ignored all my blue columbine, but loved the yellow. I folded them all up this year after the columbine finished leafing out. I really need something to hold up my gentian that doesn't restrict it to a 16" circumference. Maybe these will do the trick! I'm going to go out and try them! Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:29PM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

Rats. I forgot I already used them to hold up Rudbeckia. Oh, well, good idea for next year.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:43PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I use cross hatched peony hoops for some of my perennials and overlap the hoops if the plant gets wider than one hoop. The hoops get covered with foliage so are not seen after the plants grow. I've found that the cross hatched hoops keep the stems from getting bunched together allowing slight space between stems and give good support.

There are many varieties of platycodyn in my beds from very short to three feet tall. None have been staked or hooped. Most of the taller ones stand up straight with only one or two stems flopping. They don't detract from the stand. They blend in with the other stems adding additional blooms lower.
I try to find ways to allow floppers to enhance the group naturally.

I also agree that the first year's growth does not always tell you what their mature height will be. Which is why one group is blooming behind some short liatris but need to be moved because they have stayed about six inches high.

Another technique is to prune earlier for a tiered effect.

This post was edited by mnwsgal on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 1:08

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:46AM
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