Growing Campanula.

Latest Update 8th May 2016.

Campanula.
  • An evergreen perennial, this plant stops growing after flowering in late spring and resumes strong growth in autumn.
  • In winter and spring it flowers profusely carrying lots of small blue/mauve bell shaped flowers.
  • The campanula variety I grow looks great inhabiting the crevices in a rockery, but looks just as good as a ground cover in a raised garden bed.  
  • It is extremely hardy and grows well in full sun, however it also grows well in shade.
  • I grow some of mine under a large apricot tree where it is protected from intense summer sun, but gets good light in winter.
  • I prune the plant back by half after flowering to promote new growth in autumn.
Details.
  • Binomial Name:                                      Campanula Latifolia.
  • Family:                                                    Campanulaceae
  • Garden bed type:                                     Drip line irrigated. 
  • Recommended soil pH:                             6.5 - 7.5.  
  • Plant Spacings (centres):                          500mm. 
  • Climate:                                                  Warm Temperate.
  • Geography:                                             Southern Hemisphere. 
Growing Conditions:
  • It likes full sun in winter, but prefers protection against hot sun in a warm temperate climate.
  • It is very hardy and requires very little attention.
  • It survives well in poor soil, but benefit from a feed of homemade compost once a year, and well drained moist soil.
  • Always minimise soil disturbances to maintain a natural soil structure.  
Soil Preparation.
  • Prepare a new bed in spring by removing old mulch, fallen leaves and other decaying organic material and disposing of them in the compost heap.  I don't dig the soil.
  • Apply a 60mm thick top dressing of home made compost, and cover with fresh straw mulch.
  • Leave for 4 weeks so worm and microbe activity can build up in the soil.  Remove the mulch before planting your new plant in Spring.
Propagation.
  • Propagate campanulas by taking root cuttings from new growth in Autumn.
  • Plant the cuttings directly into prepared ground and water in with dilute seaweed extract (to suppliers recommendation). 
Growing Instructions 
  • Apply a foliar spray of activated aerated compost tea every month when the edible plants are sprayed.
  • In early autumn clear the ground of waste organic material and spent straw mulch beneath the plant and dispose of it in the compost heap.
  • Trim the foliage back hard to expose new growth and feed the soil surrounding the plant by applying a dressing of homemade compost (about 60mm) covered with fresh straw mulch.
Organic Pest Control.
  • General.
    • I have not been aware of any pest problems with my campanulas.  However sensible preventive measures like regularly spraying with aerated compost tea will boost their natural defences.
    • Similarly, proper soil preparation including annual applications of home made compost boosts the community of beneficial microbes and defends roots against plant pathogens.


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