Tall Bellflower, also known as Campanula Americana, is a wildflower originally native to the East coast of North America, from the Great Lakes to Florida. First recorded in 1753 by horticulturist Carl Linnaeus, Tall Bellflower is a self-seeding biennial that usually flourishes in woodlands and moist areas.
The eye-catching plants grow into single 3-5 foot tall spikes that bear a multitude of star-shaped, blue-violet flowers arranged in elongated clusters above the dark green foliage. The plants are easy to grow from seeds and can tolerate full to partial shade, so they can make a dramatic backdrop in your shade garden. Campanula Tall Bellflower is sure to make a statement around your house or cottage by adding a splash of colour in mid-late summer.
- Latin Name: Campanula americana
- Life Cycle: Annual when planted in the fall or biennal when stratified for 1 month and planted in the spring.
- Canada Hardiness Zone: 5-9
- Days to Maturity: Second year maturity
- Planting Depth: Broadcast directly
- Plant Spacing: 50-60 cm
- Growth Habit: 100 cm tall
Tall bellflower is a wildflower that is cultivated for many reasons. As a meadow flower and in gardens, it grows and adapts well to different climates and conditions, produces tall spikes of gorgeous blue-violet star-shaped flowers and is easy to maintain. With all this going for it, consider that tall bellflower is easy to start from seed and try growing some of your own!
Depending on when the seeds germinate, this wildflower can grow as an annual or biennial. If you’d like to grow it as an annual to see its blue-mauve blossoms in a single season, either start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost or scatter seeds on the surface of the soil in late fall. A thin layer of organic mulch can be used to cover, insulate and hold the seeds in place over the winter.
Seeds sown directly in the spring will get established throughout the growing season by producing a base of leaves and will be ready to flower the following year and complete its life cycle as a biennial.
To start seeds indoors, sow over moist soil in flats or individual pots. Cover lightly with soil and mist well, keeping the surface moist throughout the germination process. Cover with plastic wrap to hold humidity and speed up germination. Set your newly planted seeds where they’ll receive direct sun or under grow lights. Remove the plastic when seedlings emerge. Position the lights within 15 cm to keep seedlings from stretching. When they reach 3 cm tall, use a clean pair of scissors to thin out the weaklings to free up more space and resources for the best-looking seedlings.
Move your seedlings outside after the danger of frost has passed. Allow them to harden off by exposing them to increasing amounts of sun every day over the course of a week. Tall bellflowers grow best with partial shade, especially in the afternoon. It’s important to keep the soil moist early in the season. Tall bellflowers won’t tolerate drought conditions well.
Seeds can be shaken out of mature flowers to save or left self-seed. Although it reseeds, it doesn’t spread or invade quickly like some other wildflowers. Expect to see bees, butterflies and hummingbirds visiting your patch of bellflowers. Tall bellflowers will bloom in the summer and carry on through the fall. They will thrive in lightly shaded woodland areas. Mass plantings do very well and will quickly naturalize to your area.
Harvest when flowers begin to bloom to decorate vases and arrangements with the attractive blue stars.
- Campanula Americana has a varied life-history, the seeds that germinate in the fall will produce annual plants while the spring germinating seeds will produce biennial plants.
- Campanula seeds will remain viable for 3 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!