Grower: Dogwood Valley Greenhouse
Price: $6.50 ( trade gallon pot)
%> Available (Estimated): 2
This heavy bloomer gets its name from the way each flower bud swells before its starry petals unfold. Balloon flowers are one of the easiest perennials you'll ever grow, and they bloom in profusion in mid to late summer, when many other perennials are beginning to fade. The plants form a low, neat mound and bear 2- to 3-inch cuplike blossoms. Balloon flowers are a cottage garden standard, excellent for cutting. To make the flowers last in the vase, sear the stems with a match or candle flame immediately after cutting. They thrive in full sun or light shade in well-drained garden soil. They appreciate a little afternoon shade in zones 7-8. You won't find a more carefree perennial! Just work a little slow-release fertilizer into the soil in spring, and pick off the flowers as they fade to encourage more blooms. Moderate drought conditions aren't a problem, but it helps to water the plants deeply when the soil dries out too much or if drought conditions persist. Balloon flowers are seldom bothered by insects, and they are very cold-hardy. Plan the plant's position carefully and mark it to avoid weeding it out in early spring, for spring growth is late to appear.