How to grow Campanula portenschlagiana

Commonly known as the Wall or Adria bellflower Campanula portenschlagiana is a low-growing evergreen perennial native to the Dalmatian Mountains of Croatia. The 'hard-to-pronounce' species name is in honour of the Austrian naturalist Franz von Portenschlag-Ledermayr (1772–1822).

How to grow Campanula portenschlagiana
Under favourable conditions Campanula portenschlagiana can quickly form a dense mat of foliage approximately about 10 cm high and 50 cm or more wide. The small, rounded, sharply-toothed mid-green leaves then become more or less covered with gorgeous bell-shaped violet-blue blooms 2cm in length. These are borne freely from late spring to late summer.

It is a long-lived and often invasive species which will perform best in a lightly shaded position in wall or path crevices. However it can tolerate full sun and like all true alpine plants it is extremely cold hardy, so long as sharp drainage is provided. It will tolerate moist, well-drained soils but avoid wet conditions especially over the winter when root rots can take hold. Do not use Campanula portenschlagiana to underplant as the resulting leaf drop can cause the foliage to rot off.

Depending on conditions you may need to provide a suitable deterrent to prevent slug and snail damage.

Campanula portenschlagiana received the Award of Garden Merit in 1993 from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Images copyright 2017 Simon Eade


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