Balloon Flower

Q: I have a flower growing in my yard that I would love to buy more of. It was here when I bought the house and I haven’t been able to identify it yet. Can you tell me what it is?

A: You have a balloon flower, Platycodon grandiflorus. Have you noticed the way the flower swells into a blue balloon before opening?

It’s a perennial that grows two feet high in full sun to part shade. Mine do best in rich, organic soil, not clay. It’s slow to sprout in spring so mark the plant when it goes dormant in fall to avoid digging it up. Be patient during the summer – it won’t start blooming until July.

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