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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.
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
Helenium's golden daisies make a dramatic contrast with open-faced balloon flower in full sun.Daylily
Stella D'Oro daylily has golden trumpets on 1-foot plants and repeat blooms into fall. It is a fine companion for balloon flower.Coreopsis
The fine foliage and pale lemon daisies of Moonbeam coreopsis show off well with balloon flower. They enjoy similar conditions.