Bellflowers are named such because of their small, bell-shaped flowers. There are over five hundred different species of bellflowers. Dwarf species are only about five centimeters high and are found in the arctic tundra. Large species can grow to over six feet tall and can be found in temperate grasslands. Bellflowers typically have wide, broad leaves at the base of the stem and narrower leaves nearer the top. The flowers come in bright blue, violet, pink, rose, gold, and white.
Growing Requirements for Bellflowers
Bellflowers prefer well-drained soil in order to prevent the roots from rotting. These plants are hardy plants that can flourish in partly-shady sections of any garden. Blooming will begin around mid-summer and will usually last until the first frost of the winter.
Taking Care of Bellflowers
Bellflowers require very little protection or special attention. Keeping the soil moist with regular watering is usually enough for the bellflower. These plants are very prolific and thus can act as a weed themselves. The weed version of the bellflower is known as the creeping bellflower. In addition to weeding the garden, removing any unwanted sprouts should help. If the plant continues to grow in unwanted areas it may be necessary to use a herbicide in order to control it. Fertilization treatments can help plants grow to their maximum height and produce full blooms. Basic flower care should be considered but is not completely necessary because of the bellflower’s toughness. Pinching will help with branching and blooming. Dead or dying flower blooms should be removed in order to save the full plant and encourage new blooms.
History and Uses of Bellflowers
The bellflower has the unique trait of not having a known native distribution. Found all over the world and in all habitats the bellflower is an extremely diverse flower. The flower is known for being a great hedging flower for gardens big and small.
Diseases and Pests
Bellflowers are susceptible to many basic fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases. The best way to prevent most of these is by keeping the plant in good condition. Due to the bellflower’s general hardiness this is not an impossible task. Furthermore, basic and regular treatment of fungicide and other disease killers can help with any problem that may occur.
Aphids, spider mites, and other common insects and parasites can also prove to be problematic. However, basic insecticide treatments will prevent infestations. Neither of these types of chemicals should be used too often as they could have adverse effects on the plant population.
Additional Information on Bellflowers
Additional information on bellflowers can be found on the following websites:
Additional details on the distribution of the bellflower in North America can be found on the USDA Plants website.
Utah State Extension covers American Bellflower