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Balloon flower

Platycodon selections

Balloon flower

The inflated buds of balloon flowers are fun to pop. And they make great cut flowers. Cut them in the bud stage, and sear the base of the stems to prevent the milky sap from seeping out and fouling the water.

Most commonly available in blue-violet, balloon flowers also come in pink and white, as well as shorter forms that are better suited for rock gardens and containers. In fall, the foliage of balloon flower turns clear gold, so don't cut the plant down too early -- enjoy the show! They tolerate light shade, but not wet feet or drought.

Sun,Part Sun
Plant Type:
Plant Height:
To 2 feet tall, depending on variety
Plant Width:
To 1 foot wide
Flower Color:
White, pink, or blue violet flowers, depending on variety
Bloom Time:
Blooms late summer
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Cut Flowers,Dried Flowers,Attracts Butterflies,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Platycodon grandiflorus 'Astra Blue' bears large blue flowers on compact plants in late summer. It grows 8 inches tall and wide. Zones 4-9
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Platycodon grandiflorus 'Hakone Blue' offers dazzling double blue flowers in summer. It grows 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Zones 4-8
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Platycodon grandiflorus 'Sentimental Blue' bears purple-blue flowers in late summer on a compact plant. It grows 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Zones 4-9
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Plant It With

In the bud stage the green broccoli-like heads of Autumn Joy sedum play off well against the open, brilliant violet blue flowers of balloon flower in sun.


Helenium's golden daisies make a dramatic contrast with open-faced balloon flower in full sun.


Stella D'Oro daylily has golden trumpets on 1-foot plants and repeat blooms into fall. It is a fine companion for balloon flower.


The fine foliage and pale lemon daisies of Moonbeam coreopsis show off well with balloon flower. They enjoy similar conditions.