The Campanula Portenschlagiana [kam-PAN-yoo-luh] [port-en-shlag-ee-AH-nuh] is a long name that is difficult to say. It is one of many bellflower plants.
You shouldn’t confuse this gorgeous plant with the Campanula Medium, also called at times the bellflower or Canterbury Bells.
While both plants belong to the genus Campanula and the family Campanulaceae. Portenschlagiana is a perennial and the Campanula Medium is a biennial.
Besides these two plants, there are many other bellflower varieties.
This variety is also sometimes called the dalmatian bellflower or Adria bellflower helping to distinguish it from the other varieties. Learn about Campanula Poscharskyana here.
Here are the basic steps needed to care for perennial bellflowers.
How To Grow Campanula Portenschlagiana?
Size and Growth
These low-growing perennial plants may only reach about 6″ inches in height. They produce thin, delicate stems and leaves. Instead of growing straight up, the foliage tends to grow in a mat-like clump.
If you allow the plant to grow, it can achieve a spread of about 18″ inches.
Portenschlagiana is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 4 -7, allowing the plant to survive in a variety of climates.
Flowering and Fragrance
The Campanula Portenschlagiana is a perennial, with fresh flowers appearing in early summer to late summer. If healthy, the flowers may last through September.
The flowers are the most distinct part of the plant. As you can guess from the name, the bellflower produces bell-shaped flowers.
The flowers have no scent. They are purely ornamental and look great. With the dalmatian bellflower, the flowers are typically a deep lavender or purplish-blue color.
Light and Temperature
Plant the bellflower in partial shade to full sun. However, keep in mind – more sunlight requires more watering.
Portenschlagiana survives in a variety of temperatures. It can even survive a winter in freezing regions. However, cover plants with a cold frame if you plan to keep them in the ground.
Watering and Feeding
Bellflowers should receive frequent watering throughout the warmer months and less frequent watering during the colder months.
It prefers moist well-drained soil. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Use a small amount of balanced fertilizer to help feed the plant at the start of the season. In late spring, stop fertilizing and simply water it frequently to keep the soil evenly moist.
Soil and Transplanting
The best soil for the bellflower is rich potting soil with good drainage. A special potting mix is not required. A standard potting soil or even garden soil will work.
Plants should not need replanting unless you intend to move them.
As the plant matures, you may be needed to divide it every few years.
If you are transplanting, transplant in the early spring. This allows the plant plenty of time to recover from the shock of moving into a new home.
Maintenance and Grooming
Some grooming is needed to keep the plant healthy and blooming throughout the warmer months. When the bloom time is over bloom, remove the withering flowers to allow fresh flowers to bloom.
Many people enjoy cutting the flowers, which last a long time for attractive floral arrangements.
How to Propagate Bellflower Campanula?
Propagate the dalmatian bellflower with seed, cuttings, or division. Dividing the plant simply requires you to divide the roots.
Transplant a portion of the plant to increase its spread.
Another option is to take basal cuttings. Trim the cuttings from near the base of the plant and place the cuttings in a pot filled with healthy potting soil.
Water moderately while waiting for the cuttings to take root and start growing.
When you see roots, transplant the cuttings to individual pots or into the ground.
When sowing seeds, space them about 12″ to 18″ inches apart and cover them with about ⅛” inches of soil. Germination should take about two to three weeks.
Pests or Diseases Of Bellflower Portenschlagiana
These plants are relatively hardy. The only issue is fungal growth.
Curled or yellowish-brown leaves are signs of fungal infections. Treat the problem with fungicide.
In your garden, plants may become a home for snails and slugs. Keeping the plant in an outdoor container should solve this issue.
Learn more about how to get rid of snails.
If you want to keep the plants in your garden, use snail bait or a natural remedy to lead keep away from the plants.
Suggested Dalmation Portenschlagiana Uses
There are many uses for the dalmatian bellflower in garden design. They look great in rock gardens, as a ground cover, or as a border wall around a garden.
It can also provide some coverage for a garden bed and pairs well with other bellflowers.
For example, you may consider pairing it with its taller cousin – the Canterbury Bells.