There’s no shortage of gardening enthusiasts in the UK who want to learn how to grow bellflower plants. After all, who could resist the bellflower’s gorgeous bell-shaped blooms? With its flaring petals, this proud member of the Campanula flower family never fails to light up a British garden.
In most cases, you’ll start to see these blooms in July, and they usually last through to the first frost! In case you’re not aware, you grow the bellflower from seed. You have the option to seed them directly into the UK garden, or you can choose to start them in your hobby polytunnel for transplanting later.
Planting Bellflowers Outdoors in the UK
If you intend to plant bellflowers in the bellflower garden, be sure to sow the seeds in the spring. Since sowing the seeds early in the springtime is highly recommended, the perfect timing to do so is when you can feel that the soil is starting to warm up. Experts recommend mixing the seeds around rock gardens or in the middle of a UK garden landscape.
Next, you need to cover them lightly with about 1/8 inch of soil. Make sure that you give them enough spacing. It’s best to space your bellflower seeds or seedlings at least 12 inches apart. Once you established them, expect them to grow well and produce their blooms until frost.
Since these are hardy plants, they’ll likely live through the first light frosts before they grow dormant during the winter season. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about mulching or making necessary preparations to protect them when the temperatures drop because one doesn’t need to pamper them.
Must-Have Tips on How to Grow Bellflower Plants
You’ll be glad to know that the process involved in growing bellflower plants are far from being complicated. To get you started, check this out:
Tip #1: Plant them in the right kind of soil
Aside from getting full or partial sun, the bellflower plant needs loose, well-drained soil with a pH range that’s between 6 to 8. You’d want to create an ideal planting mixture that consists of 50% soil and 50% compost for it to thrive well. In optimal growing conditions, bellflowers can grow up to 24 to 30 inches tall and produce many flowers for several years.
Tip #2: Plant them where they get more sun
Although the bellflower plant can tolerate little shade in the afternoons, it generally prefers to be planted in a spot where it can get full sun. If you want them to produce more bloom, you need to expose them to more direct sunlight.
Tip #3: Keep them warm during the day and cool at night
You can’t expect your bellflower plants to grow strong and healthy if you plant them in tropical climates or areas where the temperatures drop below 50˚ at night. Bellflowers tend to develop powdery mildew if you place them in humid climates or plant them in soils kept too moist.
Tip #4: Water them properly
Although they typically grow well in average soils and dry soil conditions, you need to water them properly. It’s best to water them at least once or twice a week when the weather is mostly dry. Just make sure that the soil feels dry between the waterings.
Avoid letting the soil dry out completely and or allowing it to be soggy. When you’re applying water, make sure that you prevent the leaves from getting wet using water at the soil level. Finally, it’s best to water your bellflower plants first thing in the morning so that the rising sun can dry off the moisture on their stems or leaves.
Tip #5: Don’t forget to fertilise
If you want your bellflowers to flourish as they should, make sure that you feed them with a balanced fertiliser such as a 10-10-10. Fertilise once in the spring and again in the middle of summer. Don’t forget to water the bellflowers as thoroughly as you can after you fertilise them.
You can also keep your plants strong and well-fed if you replace non-organic fertiliser with a side dressing of organic compost at least twice a year.
Tip #6: Prune them when the flowers are starting to fade
If you want to encourage your plants to re-bloom, you need to have them pruned or deadheaded. As soon as your bellflower blooms begin to fade, be sure to snip off the blooms with the use of sharp pruning shears.
Tip #7: Use organic or chemical bug repellents and fungicide
Although the bellflower plant is known to be highly resistant to harmful bugs and disease, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for the warning signs of pest infestations or disease issues. Ensure that they’re free from snails, slugs, and aphids by spraying the plants with insecticidal soap. While you’re at it, be sure to focus on the underside of the leaves.
To keep those snails and slugs from feasting on your bellflower plants, be sure to handpick them off of your plants or set up a snail trap nearby.
Grow Bellflowers in a HobbypolytunnelToday!
Now that you know how to grow bellflower plants, you’d want to protect them from inclement weather, pests, and extreme temperatures, by growing them inside a hobby greenhouse! Since polytunnel gardening allows you to manipulate the temperature and humidity levels of your plants’ growing environment, you can be sure that they’ll produce an abundance of gorgeous blooms in the coming years!