Growing Guide
plant thumbnail

Balloon Flower

Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Platycodon grandiflorus
Campanulaceae Family

Balloon-shaped flower buds pop open into beautiful blue, white, pink, or purple flowers in summer. Plants are slow to establish and emerge late in the spring, but are otherwise long-lived and low maintenance.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Prefers full sun in cool areas but part shade where summers are hot.

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates acid soil
  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates low fertility

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 9
Possibly hardy in Zone 3.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 2.5 to 3.5 feet

Some dwarf varieties grow just 6 inches tall.

Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer

Flower color:

  • blue
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Foliage color: medium green

Foliage texture: medium


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright

Tall varieties are upright, while dwarf varieties tend to be more rounded.

Shape in flower: flower stalks with flowers as cups

Flower buds swell up like balloons and will pop when squeezed.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to China and Japan.
Special uses:
  • cut flowers
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, division or separation - Plants take a few years to become established and do not tolerate division well. When necessary, divide early in the spring when the plants are no more than 3 to 4 inches tall. Some cultivars bloom from seed the first year.

Maintenance and care:
Tall varieties may need to be staked. Divide only when the clump becomes overcrowded. This is truly a low maintenance plant that is long-lived and blooms reliably. Since it is one of the last perennials to emerge in the spring, mark its position and take care not to damage it before it emerges.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Many cultivars, including:

'Apoyama' is a 10- to 15-inch-tall dwarf with upright habit and violet flowers.

'Fuji' has pink, white, blue blossoms on 2- to 3-foot plants. Best for cut flowers.

'Komachi' has clear blue flowers and the bud swells to about 2 inches in diameter but never opens.

'Sentimental Blue' is only 6 to 9 inches tall with blue flowers from seed the first year.