Campanula Blues

Ilona Erwin

There are many types of Campanula which are garden worthy plants. They come in a color range of blue, white, pink, and purples.

One of the prettiest low growing blue perennials are those of the Campanula family. They are not long lived for me, so I think it is best to lift and divide them regularly- every two or three years. However, I am finding they are more long lasting without this if planted in a sheltered spot, out of wind and partly shady. Like the thymes they seem to appreciate the coolness of a rock sheltering their roots, as well. It is their need of consistent moisture that decides whether they are long lived here or not, I think. Replanting them ensures freedom from competition with other plant roots, and invigoration.

Their lavender blues are soft and make a good edging for flower beds or walks.

Campanula carpatica

Carpathian bellflower
is one of my favorites and easy to find for sale, as they are very popular. “Clips” is a variety often found and recommended. They have neat medium green shaded foliage and grow in polite mounds. During their long blooming season they are covered in their blue open star shaped flowers, starting in late May-early June.

Campanula carpatica is one of the best choices for the front of a border or edging a path.

Also called “Bellflowers”, they thrive when divided every couple years and when summer nights are cool.

  • Sun or part shade
  • Not fussy about soil conditions
  • Average moisture requirements
  • 6-12″ tall and 8-12″ spread
  • Drought tolerant and rabbit resistant
  • Good form and long bloom

Campanula cochleariifolia

Fairy Thimbles

Threadlike stems and tiny blue bell flowers. Photo Source: Wikipedia

Fairy’s Thimble
An ideal Fairy Garden plant, this Campanula is diminutive all over, in flower and form, but grows quite well – vigorously, even.

  • Give good drainage, otherwise not fussy about soil
  • Sun or part-shade
  • Average moisture
  • Grows 2-4″ high, 8″ spread

Campanula portenschlagiana

This is a very pretty lowgrowing Campanula

This is a very pretty lowgrowing Campanula

Wall bellflower
Nicknamed for the practice of tucking these into rock walls, this was a plant beloved of Gertrude Jekyll and often included in her plans. This is a clue to its grace and abundant flowering which adorns cottage gardens and is a good grower. For me, it was very similar to C. poscharskyana, though some feel the latter is more vigorous.

Pretty little stars of the “Campanula blue” shade of blue-violet, this is a low growing plant that often drips off the sides of walls or boxes.

  • Zone 4 hardy
  • Likes moisture, with good drainage
  • 6-10 inches tall, 12″ spread
  • Sun to part-shade
  • Easy to grow, might be too vigorous for some gardens

The greatest challenge for these plants is to have too little moisture, they are not plants for dry garden conditions. They also have a dislike for soggy conditions, but any average garden will find the Campanulas to be magnificent little performers that produce a long season of flowers.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.