The peach-leaved bellflower is wonderfully uncomplicated in terms of planting and care. Here you will find more about the perennial.
Profile of peach-leaved bellflower:
Scientific name: Campanula persicifolia
Plant family: bellflower family (Campanulaceae)
Other names: –
Sowing time: spring
Planting time: spring to autumn
Flowering period: May to August
Location: sunny to partially shady
Soil quality: stony to loamy, calcipholous, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flowerbeds, bouquets, group planting, rose companion, borders, cottage garden, flower garden, natural garden, rose garden, rock garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3 (-37 °C / -35 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of peach-leaved bellflower
Plant order, origin and occurrence of peach-leaved bellflower
The peach-leaved bellflower, botanically Campanula persicifolia, belongs to the genus of bellflowers and to the bellflower family (Campanulaceae). The plant can be found in oak and beech forests, along the edges of trees and shrubs or on meadows, in sunny or partially shady places, in fresh or dry soils. Except in Europe, the peach-leaved bellflower grows wild in North Africa and from the Balkans to Siberia. The plant has been cultivated since the 16th century.
Characteristics of peach-leaved bellflower
Peach-leaved bellflower grows with herbaceous shoots. It is perennial and absolutely hardy. At flowering time, depending on the location, the buds, which carry almost bare shoots, stretch 30 to 80 centimeters (12 to 32 in) high. They are dainty and not always completely stable. The plants form short runners, over which they spread out at locations that suit them.
The wintergreen, inverted ovate-lanceolate leaflets of the peach-leaved bellflower stand together in flat rosettes. On the flower stems only few and very narrow foliage is formed. The leaves are usually with entire margins and smooth.
The blue or purple, pointy calyxes open for several weeks between May and August. Three to eight buds sit in clusters on a stem that grows to a height of 30 to 80 centimeters (12 to 32 in) in the wild species and up to one meter in cultivars. In most cases the flowering shoot grows unbranched. The broad, bell-shaped flowers offer pollinating insects an ideal landing strip. If you remove withered flowers regularly, even more new buds will form. The peach-leaved bellflower is wonderfully suited as a cut flower for the vase.
The seeds ripen in poricidal capsules and are scattered by the wind or spread by animals to which the remaining, protruding sepals hook. They then germinate in the following spring.
Peach-leaved bellflower – cultivation and care
Peach-leaved bellflower is actually quite undemanding. It loves sunny, warm places, but also feels comfortable in partially shady places.
Quite tolerant are peach-leaved bellflowers also, what concerns the soil. A normal, nutrient-rich and permeable garden soil is sufficient. A dose of compost in spring provides humus and fertilizer. Unsuitable are waterlogged and lime-poor soils.
Planting peach-leaved bellflower
Peach-leaved bellflowers can be planted from spring to autumn. Plant them in small groups of three to five, leaving about 30 centimeters (12 in) distance to other plants.
Care / Fertilization / Pruning
The peach-leaved bellflower is very easy to care for. If you want to do some good for it, give it some compost and/or organic fertilizer at the start of the spring season, which has an immediate and lasting effect. Not so stable flowering shoots can be supported or kept upright by neighboring plants. If you do not want the peach-leaved bellflower to seed itself, you must cut it back to the base rosette after flowering.
After a few years the peach-leaved bellflower can become increasingly bald and flower more sparsely. If this is the case, it should be divided. Remove the clusters from the ground in March/April or after flowering in September and separate them into pieces with six to eight shoots. These are then replanted right away.
Quite simply, propagation is done by division (see above). Sowing is done in spring, at about 20 °C / 68 °F the seeds germinate without problems.
Diseases and pests
The greatest danger for bellflowers in general is an infestation with rust. Especially on peach-leaved bellflower two different rust fungi can appear: Coleosporium tussilaginis and Puccinia campanulae. Affected plants are best disposed of in household waste. More rarely, grey mould and downy mildew occur on the plant.
The peach-leaved bellflower is very hardy down to-37 °C / -35 °F. There are no measures for wintering necessary.
Use in the garden
Place peach-leaved bellflowers in a sunny to partially shady bed or on the light edge of a wood, rather in the middle of the planting. White-flowered varieties shine beautifully in front of dark hedges. Planting partners are for example the bushy aster (Symphyotrichum dumosum), the lesser calamint (Calamintha nepeta), daisies (Leucanthemum maximum) or foxglove (Digitalis). Also, roses and grasses go very well with Campanula persicifolia.
Most common are single flowering varieties, especially the purple-blue ‘Grandiflora Coerulea’ and the white ‘Grandiflora Alba’. Telham Beauty’ (blue) is seen less frequently. Semi-doubled, the violet-blue ‘Blue Bloomers’ opens up with a very rich flowering. Densely double flowers show the only 60 centimeters (24 in) high, first cream, later pure white ‘Powder Puff’, the white ‘Moerheimii’ and ‘Bluethroat’.
There are also subspecies of the peach-leaved bellflower, such as Campanula persicifolia subsp. nitida. The white selection ‘Alba’ is great in rock gardens and grows only 20 centimeters (8 in) high. Campanula persicifolia subsp. sessiliflora varieties such as ‘Highcliff Variety’ (violet-blue) and ‘Hidcote Amethyst’ (pink) grow as tall bedding plants suitable for pruning.