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Do I need more Balloon Flower?

Posted by stir_fryi (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 26, 13 at 18:26

I bought three at Lowes today on clearance. I put two between the two stellas and one to the right of it.

I found it challenging to dig a hole deep enough for these and ran into some roots from some old bushes -- so the plants look pretty small and short to me. They always look great in the pot and pathetic in the ground when I first plant them!

My question is -- are there enough balloon plants here? I don't have great expections this year because it is August in Michigan.

Will these clumps grow bigger for me next year?

I am always at a loss when it comes to spacing plants.

PS: my plan in to transplant more stellas behind this row in the fall.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

Try to keep your like plants together so you don't have to work to separate them. In other words, put them next to each other and the same for the lilies. Spacing becomes easier this way. It works for trees and shrubs also. People spend way to much time trying to keep things in their own space. Thinking of grouping where possible ahead of planting, cuts down on care later on.


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

Yes to more balloon flower


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

I'd move the balloon flower out from under the daylily. As it is, the 2 balloon flower on the left are hidden under the DL and aren't getting their fair share of the limelight. I think the balloon flowers would look very nice in front of the daylilies, in a row at the front of your border. That way everything has its own space. Similar to what Crunchpa is saying. You could get more of them or you could mix it up with a similar-sized plant that has a different bloom season or a complimentary color or texture.

Also the two balloon flower to the left of the daylily look too close together. Putting plants too close together only assures extra work next year!


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

Over the years I've observed that balloon flowers don't necessarily have a particularly large footprint and tend to require considerably less real estate than daylilies and other perennials. I have multiple plants growing in various beds and none require more than 6 inches of space. The same can't be said of other perennials.

Balloon flowers are also very tolerant of being pruned to control height--mine all get whacked down to 12" in May so they don't grow too tall and flop over.


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

I pruned my balloon flowers for several years, but stopped. I find they are much more elegant looking when they reach full height and sway into neighboring tall plants.


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

same as Karin and others already said. Grouping the bloon flowers together would make the blue blooms much more striking. They are one of my favorite and require the least amount of work and I have 4 planted together, very neat. do not take too much space as they tend to grow more vertical. do not need divide. They have been on the same place for the last 8 years. if you dead head, then they can bloom more.


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

oh, please, someone tell me where I can get the tall blue balloonflower! All I see availble is the very short variety. Single or double, either would be fine as long as it's tall. And blue.


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

Roxana--the fall Bluestone catalog has Platycodon grandiflora--18-36 inches tall. That's the tall one.


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Balloon Flower

roxanna - Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflora) is incredibly easy to grow from seed. I believe the seed is available from a number of reliable online sources altho' I've never seen it offered on a Burpee's display. You might check out Botanical Interests, Hazzards or Swallowtail. Failing that, post here if you'd like me to send you seeds from my plants. Depending on where you are in MA, we might even be able to meet halfway for a swap.

You won't regret planting them--I've found them to be one of the most carefree, prolific bloomers in my garden and you just can't beat that punch of blue.


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

lacey - thanks for the Bluestone link. =)

gardenweed - i am just southwest of Worcester MA, not far from the CT border. Where are you? i started growing from seed last year and had some luck with a lights/heat setup, so i would be willing to try balloon flower from seed. i have bought seed from Swallowtail before, so will probably order from them. thanks for your offer, tho. perhaps we can get together next year. i know i will have some plants that need dividing that i am happy to pass along, lol. had a very nice young fellow from RI (a member here on this forum) come here earlier this summer who went home with a car-load of plants he dug from my gardens!


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

As others have said, move the balloons forward. The stella WILL crowd them out. Wouldn't worry about planting any more of the stella in that bed. Typically grows like a weed. More balloons wouldn't be a bad idea.


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More Balloon Flower

A word of caution about moving balloon flower--according to the information I've read they have a taproot and it's possible mature plants may resent transplanting.

roxanna - I'm in north central CT a couple miles south of the MA state line so a trade is definitely a possibility. Seed harvesting is addictive so I could also offer you some Stokes aster/Stokesia laevis seeds. Do you already grow Polemonium/Jacob's ladder? It's a great blue in late spring. The Stokes aster blooms in mid-summer but also offers a stunning blue contrast to daylilies.

Another blue I would never be without is Baptisia australis/false indigo which blooms in late May where I am and is not only blue, it's tall. The blooms last for weeks and the seedpods that form are distinctive.

I'm running out of space in my beds thanks to winter sowing + my own maturing perennials but I appreciate the offer of plants.

My seed-grown plants were all grown via the winter sowing method. I filled my perennial beds with plants in just 3 years' time by trading seeds here on the GW Seed Exchange & harvesting seeds from my own perennials. It's lots more fun than the whole lights/heat setup. Check it out when you have time. I'll be more than happy to answer your questions if you decide to give it a try.

Oh, in case you have doubts about the winter sowing method--I grew apple, pear & ornamental dogwood trees via winter sowing and they're as tall as I am this year. Also grew spirea, St. John's wort & other flowering shrubs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Sowing website


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RE: Do I need more Balloon Flower?

Gardenweed, i am on my way out of town for a few days. how can i email you direct? thanks for the long post -- i will try to digest it before i leave, but i must get to bed (just finished packing)!!! will compose answer when i return!


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