If you are looking for an abundantly blooming polster, you are spot on with the Serbian bellflower. Here are tips on planting and care so it will thrive in your garden too.
Profile of Serbian bellflower:
Scientific name: Campanula poscharskyana
Plant family: bellflower family (Campanulaceae)
Other names: trailing bellflower
Sowing time: spring
Planting time: spring or autumn
Flowering period: June to September
Location: sunny to partially shaded
Soil quality: sandy to loamy, calcipholous, nutrient rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flower beds, bouquets, ground cover, planters, dry stone walls, natural garden, rock garden, potted garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3 (-37 °C / -35 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of Serbian bellflower
Plant order, origin and occurrence of Serbian bellflower
The Serbian bellflower belongs to the large plant family of the bellflower family (Campanulaceae) and is one of around 300 types of bellflowers. Their home is in the Balkans, especially in the mountains of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbian bellflower was first described at the beginning of the last century and was soon cultivated all over the world.
Characteristics of Serbian bellflower
Serbian bellflower is a vigorous perennial that, starting from underground runners, forms bare shoots stretched out flat on the ground. These can be up to 70 centimeters (28 in) long and form dense polster. The plant’s vitality and willingness to spread are great, but it never becomes a nuisance through sprawl. The Serbian bellflower grows more loosely than the wall bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana), which it otherwise closely resembles. The perennial does not grow taller than 25 centimeters (10 in), it usually stays well below that.
The mid-green, round to ovate leaves are gray haired and stalked, the margin is double-serrated. They are only a little over 2 centimeters ( 0.8 in) long and are arranged alternately. The leaf base is slightly heart-shaped. The foliage stays green even in winter.
The flowers of the Serbian bellflower are scattered in axillary clusters at the end of the stalk. They look like little stars and are colored lavender blue in the wild species. The varieties show different colors between white, pink and purple. The funnel shape is sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker. The petals are incised up to three quarters of their length. There is often an almost white center inside the flower that can be clearly seen when it opens. The ability to bloom a second time is distinctive. Between June and July you can enjoy the abundant flowering, and again in September. The flowers are a great magnet for insects.
The seeds develop in round poricidal capsules with initially closed side openings, especially in the wild species, which are thrown out when opening. The numerous varieties usually do not develop seeds and are propagated vegetatively.
Serbian bellflower – cultivation and care
Serbian bellflower prefers a sunny place. In the shade, the will to bloom noticeably diminishes. The demands on the water supply are also not great: everything between fresh and slightly dry is accepted.
The requirements of the bellflower are not great: Above all, the soil should be well-drained, and it should also contain a sufficient amount of nutrients that, for example, sandy-loamy soil offers. Calcareous substrate is not a problem, a high pH value between eight and ten is even welcome.
Planting Serbian bellflower
A planting distance of 30 centimeters (12 in) should definitely be kept. Small groups in odd numbers, for example, look pretty. In pots, it is supplied with good potting soil.
Care / Watering / Fertilization / Pruning
The Serbian bellflower is extremely easy to care for after it has grown on. If the shoots become too long you can simply shorten them with the scissors. A long-term fertilizer continuously supplies the perennial with nutrients, especially in the bucket. It is administered in spring as soon as the fertilizing effect of the substrate in the container visibly wears off. If you remove the inflorescences after flowering, there will be a re-flowering. The plants do not need to be watered abundantly, only in longer dryness watering should be done, at best in the morning or evening.
At the latest when Campanula poscharskyana begins to bald inside, it should be divided. Spring is the right time for this. It is sufficient to dig out the perennial with a spade or digging fork and after dividing it, use as many root balls as possible to move it to its new location. Some humus may be added into the planting hole beforehand. Press down and water them well afterwards.
Serbian bellflower can easily be propagated by dividing the root ball and therefore be rejuvenated at the same time. If you have been able to harvest seeds, then sowing with germination temperatures around 20 °C / 68 °F will be most successful. Please keep the seeds moist and lightly cover with soil.
Diseases and pests
Pests actually never appear in the resilient Serbian bellflower.
Their frost hardiness is remarkable. Only specimens that grow in small pots should be protected in winter so that the root area in particular is protected from the cold.
Use in the garden
Serbian bellflower is a hardy and adaptable plant is suitable as a ground cover for the sunny bed, rock garden, crevices, wall crowns, but also hanging baskets and planters. It creates beautiful transitions between earth and stone, also plays around unsightly wall corners or the edges of stairs. In addition to many polster perennials, good partners are, for example, the alpine gypsophila (Gypsophila repens), sunrose (Helianthemum) and small-stature representatives of dianthus. The bell blossoms come into their own in connection with the silver-gray, woolly leaf decoration of the lamb’s-ear (Stachys byzantina) and sun-tolerant hosta. Serbian bellflower is often used as a decoration on the table or window sill and then moves to the garden after it has faded.
There is a large selection in the range.
- Blue tendril’ flowers light to medium blue. With its long, drooping shoots, it is particularly suitable for planting bowls and hanging baskets
- ‘Blue Gown’ is characterized by large, medium-blue flowers
- ‘E.H. Frost ’enchants with a transparent cream tone
- ‘Glandore’ blooms especially long in violet blue.
- ‘Rosea’ offers a particularly pretty pink
- ‘Stella’ is distinctly star-shaped and dark purple in color
- The dwarf among the Serbian bellflowers is the light blue variety ‘Trollkind’ with a dense, particularly low growth
- Where snails are a problem, the ‘Templiner carpet’ variety is ideal. It is largely spared from being eaten