White to blue flowers that are shaped into bells and sit enthroned on tall stems from June to July – the Tussock bellflower not only impresses with its beautiful color and flower shape, but also with masses of flowers. This is how to plant and care for.
Profile of tussock bellflower:
Scientific name: Campanula carpatica
Plant family: bellflower family (Campanulaceae)
Other names: Carpathian harebell
Planting time: spring or autumn
Flowering period: June to July
Soil quality: loamy, calcipholous, moderately nutritious
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: planters, dry stone walls, rock garden, potted garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6 (-20 °C / -5 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of tussock bellflower
Plant order, origin and occurrence of tussock bellflower
The tussock bellflower (Campanula carpatica) is a species of bellflower (Campanula) in the bellflower family (Campanulaceae). It occurs in the southern and eastern Carpathians on ledges in the mountain forest.
Characteristics of tussock bellflower
The tussock bellflower is an evergreen, perennial that reaches heights of 30 to 50 centimeters (12 to 30 in). It forms a pleiocorm – perennials whose main roots are preserved and the renewal buds are located in the vicinity of the root neck. Even if sprout roots are formed, there is no division into individual ramets. The stem is erect or ascending and branched.
The basal leaves are round or heart-shaped and roughly serrated, the blade is 2.5 to 5 centimeters (1 to 2 in) long.
The flowers are solitary. The crown is bowl-shaped and 3 to 4 centimeters (1.2 to 1.6 in) wide, its tips are broad, semicircular, blunt or pointed.
The capsule fruit is oval-cylindrical, the pores are close to the upper edge.
Tussock bellflower – cultivation and care
The tussock bellflower prefers a sunny spot in the garden bed.
The soil should be well drained, loamy and moderately nutrient-rich.
The best time for planting is either spring or autumn. Heavy soils should be loosened up with gravel and sand.
This type of bellflower tolerates drought at times. However, their ability to deal with dry periods should not be tested. It is better if you water them regularly if it does not rain.
The water requirement of the tussock bellflower is medium. The soil should be kept moist. It is important to protect the plant from moisture, because it cannot tolerate it. You should therefore only be watered when the top layer of soil has dried – ideally with low-lime water and in the evening hours.
A fast-growing and blooming plant like the tussock bellflower consumes a lot of nutrients. Therefore, the nutrient content of the earth should be improved again and again in the form of fertilizers, as compost or horn shavings. The nutritional requirement is rated as medium to high.
When fertilizing, keep the following in mind:
- fertilize from April to August
- fertilize once a week
- use half-dosed fertilizer
- provide with compost in spring
- for potted plants, liquid flower fertilizer is sufficient
After flowering, the tussock bellflower should be cut back. The purpose of this is to stimulate a second bloom in September. Furthermore, secateurs should be used in autumn or spring to cut the perennial down to 10 cm (4 in) above the ground. In order to prevent balding, it makes little sense to cut it, but rather divide the plant every 5 years.
Diseases and pests
Occasionally, bellflowers can be attacked by downy mildew or gray mold. One disease that is more common on bellflowers is rust. Nettle swill has a preventive effect. The Carpathian harebell is often visited by snails.
The tussock bellflower is hardy. It can withstand temperatures down to -20 °C / -5 °F without any problems. However, if it is outside in a planter, it should be placed on a wooden block in front of the protected house wall over the winter. Before doing this, it is best to cut them down.
Use in the garden
The tussock bellflower is widely used as an ornamental plant for rock gardens and dry stone walls. It has been in culture since 1770 at the latest. There are numerous varieties whose crown color ranges from dark blue to dark purple to light purple with a white center.