Campanula - Cups & Saucers

gillie(z6NJ)March 9, 2006

I am trying campanula for the first time this year in the

cutting garden. Can anyone out there give me any advice

on the germination of seed and then the spacing in the

cutting garden? It seems whenever I try something new

it is always a bust but I keep on giving it a go. Thanks.

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I can't give you specifics but my family thought them the nicest cut flowers I ever grew.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 3:47PM
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Campanula is a biennial. The Champion Series is bred to bloom in 15 weeks. But, it doesn't work well for us here in the Midwest from an early sowing, and planting out in May. What happens when we have attempted that here is it tries to bloom on way too short stems. That means unmarketable stems. Blooming away on 6-12" stems is not a pretty sight.

This is what we have to do: sow seeds in the seedling greenhouse early June, and planting out in the field mid to late August. This gives the plants time to get established before frost. When we do this, we have taller, stronger, healthier plants which we harvest the first week in June the following season. It is a day length sensitive plant. It starts to bloom when the days start getting longer. They also require hydrating solution when harvesting.

Seed germination is relatively easy. Cover the seeds lightly because they need light. We keep them misted. We bump them up to the deep 72s in order to have a nice root system and get some size on the plants before planting them out in the field. We try to plant out in the field on an overcast day.

Campanula can be planted close in a 6 by 6 grid in Horonova netting in a 4' bed. We usually get a nice main stem with several side shoots from the plants before the weather gets to hot. We usually have production from these crops throughout the month of June.

Oh, yes, believe me when I say I understand the "trying new crops and bust syndrome." It is, however, just part of growing specialty cut flowers for market. When they go bust, we plow them down; and, thus don't have to think about it. At least not until we're planning for the next season. We try not to make the same mistake twice.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 5:10PM
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Noni Morrison

I really like the Champion Campanulas. They bloom almost all summer for me here. So far I have tried the blue and the pink. I start them in January and then set them out about mid March. I get quite decent stems on them.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 11:10PM
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gillie, you can also try Glomerata (superba) and Persicifolia (Telham) both of these are perennial and are good for cuts too.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 11:10AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

I've grown both Glomerata and Persicifolia (the kinds Bryan mentioned above) for years. They get nice and tall and are easier to grow than the annual Champion (I had no luck with it - it stayed very short, possibly a cold-nights problem). And EVERYBODY wants a bouquet with the white Persicfolia bells in it. If you get either, be careful to get the tall Glomerata - there is another form that is too short for cutting. I made a wonderful discovery about Glomerata after having cut it for years, but I'd never kept any in my own house for more than overnight. It has buds all up and down the stem, in addition to the cluster on top. In the field, I'd cut when just the first few florets in the top cluster were open. In the vase, the stems continue to open more and more florets until they're all open, top to bottom. Gorgeous! In the field, each floret wilts as soon as it's pollinated - and in this wild place, there are enough bugs to pollinate everything as soon as it opens - so I'd never seen a stem with more than a few florets open at once. Cut and put indoors where there are no pollinators, they all open and stay open and make a heckuva show!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 12:39PM
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Yes, but.......

The experts at Walter's Gardens here in Michigan state that the perennial Campanula glomerta, 'Superba' and Campanula persicifolia, 'Telham Beauty' require some shade in areas with very hot summers. There's no shade in our open fields.

Secondly, we grow half an acre of the Medium Single Canterbury Bells Series, and treat it as an annual. We bushhog and disc when we're finished harvesting at the end of June. We then plant plugs of another crop in that section. Sometimes it's zinnias; however, we never plant zinnias in the same section two seasons in a row.

For white bell type flowers for weddings during the summer, lisianthus is always the favored choice of brides.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Yes, but ...
'always' is a pretty strong word, and inaccurate when applied to all brides everywhere. There isn't ANYTHING that brides ALWAYS like! Lisianthus is always the favored choice of your brides, apparently, and probably florists' brides, because that's what they have, and what's traditional - for florists, that is! If I were growing wholesale or selling to florists, I'd grow what they wanted, but I have always purposely offered things florists don't - if they want florist flowers, they don't need me. I don't grow lisianthus - it doesn't like cold nights - so it was never a choice for my brides. Besides, it's really a different product. The persicifolia bells dangle delicately outward and downward, with a little movement to the stem in the breeze, more like a real bell, whereas lisianthus faces up and is rigid. Brides usually came to my farm the week before the wedding and picked out their own flowers. White persicifolia always got oohs and aahs and were must-haves. By the way, I've tried Telham Beauty and found it disease-prone and sickly. Plain white and plain purple persicifolia do very well here and look much nicer. The Telham Beauty flowers don't look as nice in person as they do in catalogs. In real life, their white is slightly muddy and their supposed pale blue edge is more grayish.

Campanula glomerata and persicifolia probably do just love the climate here: cold nights, no humidity at all, short summer. I can harvest it into late July or August, at which point it's still blooming but the stems have gotten too thin and flimsy to cut. And it's in absolute full sun. There are a few benefits to our cold nights.....


    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 2:32PM
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You sound like a bitter person. You seem to be stuck on angry. Let it go.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 7:59PM
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Noni Morrison

HMMM. never had a bride ask me for lisianthus. Here they mostly want Something to take to a beach wedding with wild grasses and red and yellow "wild flowers"...OR atleast that is how it seemed last year!

Our other big wedding flower for May weddings is Iris mixed with delphiniums and any early roses.

THis year, who knows!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 1:55AM
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Pete(the Troll) glad to see you crawled out from under your bridge.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 11:26AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Bryan, don't even bother, the troll isn't worth responding to!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 12:12PM
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heidi41(z5 Mass)

I grew the Champion series this year and they are beautiful. The stems are about 16" long.They work out OK in the bouquets. Do they keep reblooming or are they just a one time deal. I thought I read that they were basal branching? Mine don't seem to be sending up new shoots. Heidi

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 9:49AM
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