Chimney Bellflower – Campanula pyramidalis

Chimney Bellflowers are attractive short-term plants to grow in a sheltered spot on your balcony or patio. They produce tall, pyramid-shaped spikes covered with pale blue or white flowers during July and make an attractive display when grouped together in a large container outside.

Growing wild in many areas of southern Europe, this plant is a half-hardy perennial which is best grown from seed one year to flower the next.

Overwinter plants in a cool, bright place indoors unless you live in a warm, sheltered part of the country. You may be able to buy second-year plants in spring from a nursery. Except in sheltered positions, the flowering spikes will need supporting.

Chimney Bellflower grows up to 1.2m (4ft) high. The plant forms large clumps, with the tall flower spikes rising from the base of the plant. The leaves are heart-shaped and rich green in colour. The bell-shaped flowers are similar to those of Canterbury Bells. They are pale blue or white and about 25-35mm (1-1½in) in length.

Display ideasChimney Bellflower -  Campanula pyramidalis

Grow several Chimney Bellflower plants together in a large container on a sheltered balcony or patio or plant one of the low-growing, lavender blue species of perennial Campanula, such as C. portenschiagiana, to edge a container.

Propagation

Grow as a biennial and Chimney Bellflower will flower the year after sowing.

1 Sow the seeds in early summer in a tray containing soil-based compost and a little added sand.

2 Cover the tray with a piece of glass and germinate seeds at room temperature, turning the glass daily to allow ventilation.

3 Prick out seedlings into individual pots of soil-based compost when they are large enough to handle. Pot on into 8cm (3in) containers when they are well-developed.

4 In warm, sheltered parts of the country, overwinter Chimney Bellflower plants in patio tubs. In colder areas, keep indoors in a light, cool room.

5 Plant out into their final position during the following spring. Keep the compost evenly moist, but not saturated, and deadhead regularly.

Pests And Diseases

Attacks by aphids may occur, but they are not usually too much of a problem. They will appear on the flowers or at the tips of new shoots, where they suck out the sap. Treatment: Wash them oft by spraying with water. For severe cases, spray with a recommended insecticide. Repeat as necessary.

Irregular brown blotches about 1 cm ( ½in) across are a sign of leaf spot.

Treatment: Remove and destroy the affected leaves, then spray with a suitable fungicide.

Damaged stems and leaves may be caused by slugs and snails. Treatment: Remove pests by hand. This is better than using slug pellets as these can be poisonous it eaten by children, cats, dogs or wildlife.

PLANT CARE

Chimney Bellflower plants are easy to grow. Second-year plants like a warm, sunny position and plenty of water. Overwinter plants outdoors in warm areas, or keep them in a light, frost-free place. Alternatively, buy ready-grown plants in spring.

  • Potting: Use soil-based compost for growing these plants in containers.
  • Water regularly and do not allow the plants to dry out when they are flowering. Check patio containers regularly as they can dry out quickly during hot weather.
  • Feeding: Use a liquid fertilizer every 14 days during the second summer or spray plants with a well-diluted foliar feed.

BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT

  • Light: Chimney Bellflowers like the brightest possible position. A sunny, south-facing balcony or patio is ideal. Plants grown in an exposed place may need to be supported.
  • Temperature: Chimney Bellflower will thrive in normal outdoor summer temperatures. The plants are frost-tender and need a bright, cool spot to overwinter successfully.

Buying Tips

  • Buy Chimney Bellflower in seed form to sow in Autumn. At some nurseries you can buy second-year plants in early spring.
  • Look for seeds packed in toil sachets inside a paper packet. This Will ensure that the seeds are really fresh and will germinate successfully. Also check the date on the packet.
  • Plants should be discarded after flowering.

Chimney Bellflower grows in clumps, producing pyramid- shaped spikes of pale blue or white flowers during July.

Grow this plant from seed to flower the following year.

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