Campanula - Bellflowers



∙Water - 🔸🔸🔸

Watering-related abuse will quickly lead to an unhappy Campanula. Once half of the soil has dried out, rehydrate by using the bottom-up method to reduce the chance of diseases associated with excess moisture on its foliage. Set the plant on a saucer one water around a quater deep until thorough absorption. Repeat this step weekly, especially with those grown in bright, warm locations. Under-watering symptoms include rapid flower loss and dry, crispy leaves; these issues are usually due to either forgetfulness, too much sunlight or too much heat. Even though under-watering is far better than over-doing it, never allow the soil to thoroughly dry out for too long as this could reduce the chance of new buds forming. Over-watering symptoms include rotting lower leaves, yellowing leaves, a loss of buds or flowers, and root or crown rot. Allow most of the soil to dry out in between waters, and do not allow a pool of standing water accumulate beneath the pot.


∙Humidity - 🔸🔸🔸

Average room humidity is more than enough to occupy a Campanula, as too high humidity and poor air circulation will result in powdery mildew. Do not mist the flowers as this will cause botrytis petal blight that can spread quickly if not dealt with accordingly. Never situate it within four meters of an operating radiator as the humidity will be too low and will risk browning leaf-tips. 


∙Location & Light - 🔸🔸🔸

A location with little to no direct light is the ideal setting for this species. If you're worried about its location being too dark, if a newspaper can be read while having your back towards the light source, you're good to go. Shady locations must be avoided at all costs due to the heightened chance of over-watering and crown rot (if watered from above). If it's bright enough to read a newspaper, it should be accepted by the Campanula. 

In terms of the ideal room around the house, as long as the desired location is above 15ºC (59ºF) and is at least four metres away from an operating heat source, it should be accepted. Do not place the plant in direct sunlight as irreversible damage may occur.


∙Fertilisation - 🔸

Use a fertiliser high in potassium to prolong its flowers during the festive period - an excellent example would be a Tomato Feed. Regular fertilisers, for instance, BabyBio or Miracle-Gro, will still do the job but will favour foliar growth instead. For the rest of the year, a standard fertiliser can be used to supplement the plant.




Common Issues with Campanula

Over-watering is the biggest issue when it comes to an Campanula. Typical signs of this include brown leaves with soft spots on the underside of the leaves, basal rot or powdery mildew forming in the centre. Not only do you have to be mindful of root rot, but also have a think about which plant parts to keep dry. Its central crown must also remain dry at all times to prevent the development of bacterial diseases or mildew. For small cases, ease off with the irrigations and improve the light levels. If the plant is wilting despite being sat in moist soil for some time, root rot has sunk in. Remove the plant from the pot and remove the affected soil and roots with a clean pair of scissors. Place it back in the original container (or a smaller one if there aren't much roots) and ease off with the waters. Do not place in a dark location as this may risk further rot.

Too much sunlight will lead to sun scorch, with typical signs including browning or crispy leaves, dry leaf-edges, sunken leaves or stunted growth. Although too little light will cause over-watering issues, too much sunlight will be a detriment, too. A location that offers over two hours of sunlight a day will bring the optimum growth for the Campanula. If yours has fallen short of this issue, reduce the amount of sunlight considerably and always be mindful of environmental shock (when too locations offer too different growing conditions). Remove some of the affected leaves and increase waters slightly. Only hydrate the plant using the bottom-up method.

As mentioned before, powdery mildew and botrytis are major threats among heavy foliage plants due to the compact nature that aids the spread of the diseases. Watering above the foliage will allow excess moisture to sit in the cubbyholes of the stem, enticing harmful bacteria to thrive. Remove the affected areas and improve the growing conditions by situating the plant in a brighter location with the use of the bottom-up method of irrigation.

Over-supplementing a Campanula will bring nothing but grief in the likes of yellowing leaves and weak, dramatic growth. Although a monthly feed is an excellent way to promote healthy growth, the combination of dry soil and sharp chemicals will quickly lead to the burning of roots. The best advice for this issue is to pre-moisten the soil beforehand; not only will this remove the chemical-edge found in fertilisers, but it will also adversely remove the chance of damaging the roots.

A lack of flowers is caused by a insufficient dormancy period, served in the winter months. Locations that offer near-similar temperatures all year round won't allow the plant to go dormant, resulting in poor spring growth. To achieve, situate in a location that dips to around 12°C  (54°F) with fewer waters. Allow the majority of the compost to dry out and provide a humidity tray while the radiators are operating.




How to Re-bloom a Campanula 

Although trying to re-flower a Campanula isn't overly tricky, people still find it difficult to achieve. As ukhouseplants been challenged many times on this subject, We've created an acronym to help you through this process; SHORT.

Repotting isn't usually mandatory if you want it to re-bloom - in fact, this may hurt the chances. Only repot every two to three years and after the blooming has finished. To get a Campanula to reflower in spring, think back to its previous dormancy period during the winter. The following steps should be done at the end of autumn, when the plant's growth begins to dwindle.


Sunlight

Be sure to provide a bright location with no direct sunlight. Although the sunlight won't necessarily hurt the plant, you can easily fall in the trap of under-watering, potentially weakening the plant. In order for it to fully become seasoned, avoid the use of artificial lighting during the night.

Hydration

Reduce irrigations so that the soil becomes almost dry for a couple of days. Remember, Campanula should only be watered from the bottom-up as rotting foliage or crown are a common issue with colder temperatures.

Occasional Feeds

During the dormancy period, only supplement once or twice to carry through until the following spring. Shortly before the start of growth, use a fertiliser high in potassium to increase the chance of flower development - Tomato feed is an excellent choice. 

Reduce Everything

This one is to remind you that everything needs to be reduced - especially the temperature.

Temperature

This is the most significant step - reduce the temperature down by around 5℃ compared to the summertime or place in a room which is within 12 - 15℃  (53 - 59℉).  Most houseplants are quite sensitive to ambient change, so we can't empathise how vital this step is! Do not exceed the minimum temperature for tender Campanula as this will lead to plant death.




Origins

Campanula is a genus of around five hundred species, which include annuals, biennials and perennials. Their distribution is largely in the northern hemisphere and are commonly found in woodlands and grasslands in Europe and North America. The genus was first described back in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus during a visit to the Americas. Campanula comes from the Latin words for 'little bells' which refer to the shape of the flowers that are put out in summertime.


Temperature

10°C - 25°C   (50° - 78°F)
H1c - can be grown outdoors in spring and summer in a sheltered location, but is fine to remain indoors. If you decide to bring this houseplant outdoors, do not allow it to endure more than an hour of direct sunlight a day as this will burn the leaves. Regularly keep an eye out for pests, especially when re-introducing it back into the home. 


Spread

Up to 1m in height and 0.8m in width. The ultimate height will take between 4 - 6 years to achieve.


Pruning

Remove yellowed or dying leaves and plant debris to encourage better growth and improve the all-round appearance. Pruning must be done with clean scissors or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases; remember to make clean incisions as too much damage can shock the plant.


Propagation

Via seed, basal cuttings or division. To learn about the critical essentials with sowing seeds, be sure to click on this link - Seed Propagation Tips

For basal cuttings, use shoots that have a soft wooded base and haven't flowered. They should be at least 15cm in length and are found in the centre of the plant where the new growth takes place. Remove the lower half of the leaves, dip the wound in some rooting hormone and place in a well-draining potting mix - Seed & Cuttings Compost is advised. While the plantlet is still young, avoid direct sunlight and water-logging and repot once there is at least 2cm of growth.

Division - Split the root ball into several sections during the start of spring. Dividing too-small segments of the rootball could lead to transplant shock or unsuccessful propagation. Sections that are at least 5cm in diameter serve the best chance of propagation due to the stored energy in the roots and stems. Place the sections into houseplant compost and water regularly, avoiding prolonged sunlight and persistent droughts.


Flowers

Campanula will flower between late spring to early autumn if grown correctly. Each individual flower will last up to ten days, with the overall show lasting up to six weeks. Supplement the soil using a fertiliser high in potassium to prolong its flowers - Streptocarpus or Tomato food are an excellent choice.


Repotting

Repot every two or three years using Houseplant compost with added perlite or grit. For matured specimens, introduce more grit to promote a stronger root ball as well as the reduction of potential root rot; click on this link for more information on how to perform the perfect transplant.


Diseases & Pests

Common diseases with Campanula are root or crown rot, powdery mildew, leaf-spot disease, botrytis petal blight and powdery mildew. Keep an eye out for spider mite, thrips, aphids, slugs and mealybugs & root mealybugs. For more info on how to address any of these issues, hit this link.  Identifying Common Houseplant Pests & Diseases


Toxicity

Not known to be poisonous by consumption of pets and humans. If high quantities are eaten, it may result in vomiting, nausea and a loss of appetite.


Retail Locations

Some florists & Online Stores. Specimens are likely to be found in summer outside at most garden centres; it's not advised to bring outdoor specimens inside as this could lead to environmental shock and introducing foreign pests into the home.

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