Grown as much for its silver-gray foliage as for its neon-color flowers, campion provides excellent color and contrast in perennial borders and beds. Once the flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, the stems can be cut back and the foliage forms a groundcover for the remainder of the growing season. Campion is also at home in rock gardens, wildflower meadows, and cottage gardens.
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Campion has neon-color blossoms in magentas, oranges, and reds as well as white. Some of the pink varieties are so intense that the flowers seem to glow. The bright and showy blossoms develop singularly, in pairs, or in clusters. These showy flowers are vibrant but short-lived; each bloom lasts just a day. The flowers may be sparse the first year but should become prolific each subsequent year as the plants bulk up in size. Some varieties of campion have dark green foliage instead of the typical silver-gray. Campion seeds itself freely about the garden, so you may want to control its spread by deadheading flowers immediately after they bloom.
Campion Care Must-Knows
Campion prefers moist soil but can handle average, medium, and well-drained soils. During extended dry periods, campion will benefit from the occasional supplemental watering. Campion does require soil that will drain well in winter as too much moisture causes root rot. While campion thrives in full sun, it can tolerate partial shade but will produce fewer blooms. Campion tends to be fairly short-lived and in some areas it is grown as a biennial or annual. Most varieties flourish in areas with cooler summers.
In late fall or early winter, prune campion by cutting back to one-third of its original size. In spring, you can thin seedlings and move them to new areas of your garden to control the spread of their habit.
More Varieties of Campion
This variety of Lychnis coronaria is a white flowered variety with crisp white blooms over silvery grey foliage. Zones 3-8.
'Lumina Bronze Leaf Red' campion
Lychnis x haageana is a short-lived perennial with bright red flowers over contrasting bronze foliage. It grows 1 foot tall. Zones 4-8.
'Maltese Cross' campion
Lychnis chalcedonica bears round clusters of bright scarlet-orange flowers atop leafy stems. Flowers may also be white or pink, and some are double. Pairs of rough lance-shape leaves clasp the 3-foot-tall stems. Self-seeds freely. Zones 3-8.
'Ragged Robin' campion
Lychnis flos-cuculi makes basal rosettes of grassy grayish foliage. In summer, loose clusters of deeply cut rosy-lavender flowers bloom, giving a ragged effect. Ragged robin needs damp soil and is effective in wild gardens. It may reach 2 feet tall. Zones 3-7.
This variety of Lychnis coronaria has woolly silver leaves in brilliant contrast to its 1-inch screaming magenta flowers. This short-lived perennial seeds itself freely. It may reach 3 feet tall. Zones 3-8
Plant Campion With:
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