Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Platycodon grandiflorus
Platycodon grandiflorus

Click to Enlarge

Zones 1-10, 14-24, 26, 28-45
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water

Platycodon grandiflorus

Balloon Flower
Campanulaceae (Lobeliaceae)

From Siberia, northern China, and Japan. Grows to 3 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide. Inflated, balloonlike buds are carried on slender stalks at the ends of upright stems clad in broadly oval, 1–3-in.-long, light olive green leaves. Buds open to 2-in.-wide, star-shaped, blue-violet flowers with purple veins. Bloom begins in early summer and continues for 2 months or more if spent blossoms (not entire stems) are removed.

Pink, white, and double-flowered varieties are available; dwarf forms may grow to just 1 ft. high. Blossoms of 1 1/2–2-ft.-high ‘Komachi’ keep their balloon shape, never opening fully. ‘Mariesii’ is a dependable grower to 1 1/2 ft. high, with deep violet-blue blooms.

Balloon flower dies back completely in autumn, and new growth appears quite late in spring; mark the plant’s position with small stakes to avoid digging up its fleshy roots. If you do unearth a root, replace it (or the pieces) right away. Protect roots from gophers by planting in wire baskets. Grow as a winter annual in Zones 12 and 13.

You Might Also Like...

Alnus glutinosa

Native to Europe, North Africa. Probably best as multistemmed tree; grows moderately quickly to 7...

Philadelphus lewisii

Deciduous shrub native to western North America. It is the state flower of Idaho. Fountain-shaped, loo...

Achillea filipendulina

From the Caucasus. Erect plants that grow to 4–5 ft. tall and up to 3 ft. wide, with deep green,...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More