Best campanulas to grow

10 best campanulas to grow

Love campanulas? We've picked our favourite 10 to grow.

Campanulas are a diverse group of plants, including small, creeping species and towering perennials. All have beautiful, usually blue, flowers, and most are attractive to pollinators.

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Campanulas are part of the Campanulaceae family, which also includes lobelias and isotomas. Many can take a good degree of shade, so are suitable for dark corners or small gardens overlooked by walls and fences.

In gardens you’re likely to have already come across small, spreading campanulas like Campanula poscharskyana and Campanula portenschlagiana, which are often found growing in the crevices of walls and paving stones.

How to grow campanulas

Most campanulas grow naturally on chalky grasslands and woodland edges, which is fantastic news if you’re gardening on an alkaline soil. Campanulas require moist but well-drained soil – they tend to suffer in winter wet. Some thrive in sun while others tolerate shade. Deadhead spent blooms to prolong flowering. Taller species can be cut back in autumn.

More on growing campanulas:

Discover our pick of the best campanulas to grow, below.


1

Campanula rotundifolia

Campanula rotundifolia
Campanula rotundifolia

This creeping perennial species thrives on dry, nutrient-poor soils, which in the UK includes chalky grasslands. Campanula rotundifolia flowers from around midsummer to early autumn and is often visited by pollinating insects. Grow in sun or partial shade.

Height x spread: 30cm x 30cm.


2

Campanula portenschlagiana

Campanula portenschlagiana
Campanula portenschlagiana

Perfect for sunny or partially shaded, well-drained spots in the garden, Campanula portenschlagiana is a mat-forming perennial campanula that requires little attention. It looks fabulous growing in rock gardens or cascading over garden walls.

H x S: 50cm x 50cm.


3

Campanula glomerata

Campanula glomerata 'Freya'
Campanula glomerata ‘Freya’

Campanula glomerata is suited to relaxed herbaceous borders or cottage garden schemes, adding bursts of colour with the clusters of brightly-coloured flowers. You can also pick from a number of beautiful cultivars with pink or white flowers. Grow in moist, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade.

H x S: 50cm x 100cm.


4

Campanula latifolia

Campanula latifolia var. macrantha 'Alba'
Campanula latifolia var. macrantha ‘Alba’

Commonly known as the giant bellflower, this spectacular species reaches a height of 120cm and looks stunning in partially shaded borders growing alongside ferns and other woodland perennials. Pictured is the variety ‘Alba’, which has white flowers, rather than the usual mid-purple flowers.

H x S: 150cm x 50cm.


5

Campanula persicifolia

Campanula persicifolia
Campanula persicifolia

The fairy bellflower, Campanula persicifolia, is an old-fashioned cottage garden perennial with showy, bell-shaped flowers held on dainty stems. A sheltered spot is best, in full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.

H x S: 100cm x 50cm.


6

Campanula lactiflora

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety'
Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’

Campanula lactiflora is a particularly floriferous, clump-forming campanula with large heads of clustered flowers in summer. ‘Prichard’s Variety’ (pictured) is a popular variety with pale, violet-blue flowers. Plant it in full sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil.

H x S: 100cm x 50cm.


7

Campanula poscharskyana

Campanula poscharskyana
Campanula poscharskyana

Like Campanula portenschlagiana, the trailing bellflower, Campanula poscharskyana, is a mat-forming species and well-suited to growing in the small crevices between paving tiles, bricks and stones. It’s a fabulous, low-maintenance plant that will provide masses of colourful flowers from summer right through to the end of autumn – even longer in sheltered, urban locations. Grow in full sun or partial shade.

H x S: 10cm x 50cm.


8

Campanula ‘Sarastro’

Campanula 'Sarastro'
Campanula ‘Sarastro’

One of several campanula hybrids, ‘Sarastro’ is a hybrid of Campanula punctata and Campanula trachelium, with stunning midnight blue flowers held on tall stems. Even more dramatic is the variety ‘Pink Octopus’, which has pink, split flowers. Grow Campanula ‘Sarastro’ in full sun or partial shade, in moist, well-drained soil.

H x S: 100cm x 50cm.


9

Campanula pyramidalis

Campanula pyramidalis
Campanula pyramidalis

This erect, tall growing species is a short-lived perennial or biennial. Best grown from seed each year, Campanula pyramidalis thrives in moist, well-drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded spot. A fantastic choice for dramatic cut flowers.

H x S: 2m x 60cm.


10

Campanula carpatica 

Campanula carpatica 'Blue Clips'
Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Clips’

Campanula carpatica is one of the most popular and easily grown alpine campanula species, having very large wide open flowers. Most varieties have white or blue flowers, borne from early to late summer.

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H x S: 2m x 60cm.