Flowers

Platycodon or Chinese Bluebell care guide

The Platycodon, also known as Chinese Bellflower, is a plant of the Campanulaceae family ideal to have in pots, embellishing the patio, terrace or balcony. It can also be planted in the garden, along with other flowers to create spectacular colored rugs.

It is one of the plants that has the longest flowering season: from late spring to mid-August, so if you want to enjoy the joy it transmits, then we will tell you everything you need to know to have a healthy Platycodon no, the next.

Origin and characteristics of Platycodon

Platycodon is a genus of perennial plants native to Asia, specifically China, eastern Siberia, Korea, and Japan. There is only one known species, Platycodon grandiflorus, but as we will see below, several cultivars have been removed.

It can reach an approximate height of 40 centimeters, and its leaves are dark green, being lighter on the underside. It has serrated edges, and the main rib is well distinguished as it is a very light green, almost yellowish. It blooms from spring to summer, producing star-shaped flowers up to four inches wide. These are made up of five petals, and they are blue, purple, white or pale pink.

During the winter, it is normal for its aerial part to spoil as it is when it comes to rest, but the roots will remain intact, the plant being able to sprout when temperatures improve.

As a curiosity, you should know that it is the symbol of Ichinomiya and Isehara, two cities of Japan.

Platycodon grandiflorus cultivars

At least 10 Platycodon cultivars are known:

  • Apoyama: develops straight stems, and blue flowers. In Japan it is widely used to prepare sake, a typical alcoholic drink of the country. In addition, its roots are consumed in salads and soups.
  • Apoyama Misato Purple: it is similar to the previous one, but its flowers are a more intense bluish color.
  • Double Blue: it is a variety of straight and tall stems, so much so that they can reach 80 centimeters in height. It has blue flowers with a double crown of petals.
  • Fairy Snow: this is a small plant about 40 centimeters tall that produces magnificent white flowers.
  • Fuji Blue: it is the most common variety. Its flowers are blue, and it is the most resistant to pests.
  • Hakone Double Blue: it is a plant about 20-30 centimeters high, with a more or less compact bearing, which produces blue flowers with a double crown of petals.
  • Hakone Double White: it is the same as the previous one, but with white flowers.
  • Komachi: The Komachi cultivar is the most curious, because its blue flowers never open.
  • Mother of Pearl: reaches a height of 25-30 centimeters, and its flowers are pink.
  • Sentimental Blue: it is also a small variety of blue flowers. It reaches a height of 20 centimeters maximum.

Platycodon Care Guide

Our protagonist is a plant whose cultivation and maintenance is very simple, so that whether you already have experience taking care of the green or not, with the Platycodon you will have a great time. These are your cares:

Location

Ideally, place your Platycodon outside, in an area where it is directly exposed to sunlight. In case you don’t have it, don’t worry, since it can also be in semi-shade (yes, it must have more light than shade).

Now, you can also have it inside the house, if you have a room through whose windows a lot of light comes in from outside. In the event that you do have it, put it as far as possible from the fan, air conditioning unit, and even from passageways. In this way, the drafts will not reach you and therefore will not harm you.

Irrigation

It must be frequent in summer, and somewhat more scarce the rest of the year. It is advisable to let the substrate dry a bit before watering again, so that it will generally be watered about 3 times a week during the hottest and driest months, and less the rest.

If you have it in a pot with a plate, empty the latter because if the roots are in contact with water always, they will rot.

Soil or substrate

  • Pot: it must have good drainage. Mix the peat with 20% perlite if it is too compact.
  • Garden: if the soil in the garden is light and does not tend to get waterlogged, it will be perfect. Otherwise, it is better to make a hole of about 40 x 40cm and fill it with the mixture of substrates that we have mentioned before.

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It is very important to pay in spring and summer with liquid organic fertilizers, such as guano, following the instructions specified on the package.

If it’s planted in the ground, you can add worm castings or manure once a month (as long as it’s not fresh).

Pruning

Dry leaves and wilted flowers must be removed to prevent the proliferation of pests. Nothing else. It can be done with household scissors; that is, it is not necessary that they be pruning. But yes, before using them, wash them with soap and water to minimize the risk of infection.

Multiplication

Platycodon multiplies by seed in spring. They are sown directly in pots and in 2-3 weeks the first ones will begin to germinate. Use seedbed substrate (sold here ), and place it in semi-shade. You will see that in less than you expect you will have new copies.

Rusticity

Withstands temperatures down to -15 degrees Celsius.

Platycodon uses

This is a very loved plant for its ease in cultivation, but also for its medicinal properties. In fact, it is used to relieve cold symptoms and as an anti-inflammatory ; In addition, its roots are a very interesting ingredient to make delicious salads.

So if you are looking for a beautiful plant that can be useful in the kitchen, without a doubt the Platycodon is for you.

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