canterbury bells aka' cup&saucer'

pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)August 27, 2011

Do you grow canterbury bells aka "cup&saucer" flowers? Saw a beautiful purple one in somebody's blogspot. Would love to hear from those that have grown this plant. Is it easy to grow, does it reseed? Do the commercial seeds always come in mixed colors?

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I started them from seed this year. They germinated well and stayed healthy under lights. I planted them out in late May. They are now aprox 10 in diameter, healthy, cabbagey looking foliage. They are bi-annuals so I wont see flowers until next year. I'm hopeful, but actually didn't realize they were bi-annuals when I bought the seed. I may try direct sowing or winter sowing, some next spring, I dont think I want to use the lighting space for bi-annuals.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:27PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

If you want the Canterbury Bells with 'saucers' make sure you get Campanula medium var. calycanthema. This is the one called cups and saucers. The flowers are also larger than the regular Campanula medium. I got caught, but only once :).


    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:08AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Thanks for the input. I saw that they were bi-annuals and didn't know if they would bloom the first year or not. I'm convinced that sometimes you are better off paying for the starter plans rather than planting them yourself. Would this be a case for that idea? I'm an impatient gardener. I want everything to bloom the first year. I have to like it a lot to plant the seeds and wait for another year for it to bloom.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:11AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I ws canterbury bells twice and have had good germination with bloom the 2nd year. I'm still using the same packet of mixed seeds. All of mine have bloomed blue violet. One had small blossoms and was shorter than the others.

These are so easy to start from seed that I wouldn't spend money for starter plants. You could probably fall sow some now and maybe they will bloom next summer.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 2:51AM
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Yes, you could probably still sow them, though it would have been better to do that a few weeks ago. They start easily from seed. The cobalt blue is a striking color in the garden. The problem with CBs is that they take space the first summer just growing; such it is with biennials. Also, while they are showy, they sometimes need staking. Here is a pic with white veronica.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 3:21PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Beautiful and in my favorite color too! thanks for sharing your picture.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 7:29PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

You can sow them in a nursery bed and transplant the following year into flowering positions. That way they are not taking up space in your flower beds for so long. Sweet Williams, wallflowers and Canterbury bells are often grown in the veg patch the first year over here.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 7:06AM
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OMG! This is sorta funny. This is the first year I'm growing flowers from seed. When I started Canterbury Bells this year, I had some excess seeds that I tossed in the garden.

The seeds I started in the green house are maybe an inch tall. The seeds I through into the garden grew and bloomed this year!. I've never seen them before and have been trying to figure out what the mystery flower in the the bed is. I saw mantis's picture and realized it is Canterbury Bells.

Also, you answered my question about staking. Do you need to stake them the first year? Mine look healthy but are flopping over.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 11:06PM
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The ones I started from seed last year, came back well in our early spring, but then got bitten hard with a freeze and died, not a single one survived.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 6:29AM
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I have good luck starting biennials from seed about this time of year or even into late July. Then I plant them in the garden in very early fall. They generally flower the next spring (I notice some campanula do not bloom that spring, but stay as tight rosettes). After flowering, I cut them down or tear them out and plant other annuals in their place. This way, they do not take up garden space for a whole season before flowering.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:41PM
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My favorite vine for the back porch -annual Cup and Saucer Vine. Since it's a late bloomer I prefer to buy transplants and get them in the ground as soon as possible. Last year the greenhouse did not grow any so I tried something else. Much prefer the Cup and Saucer. Just in case I bought a pack of seed this Spring, but the greenhouse called and said the plants were available.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 2:56PM
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