Similar to Campanula Carpatica and Campanula Poscharskyana, Campanula Lactiflora is also a perennial that brings an imposing presence in your garden.

Its tall, multi-branched stems with lots of small white star-like or lavender flowers in open will round from mid to late summer. And thanks to its romantic look, you can easily mix this ornamental plant with roses to make a beautiful perennial border.

Since you are here, I will guide you on how to grow another flower in the family Campanulaceae.

Are you ready to find out more?

Follow me now.

Before diving into the central part of this article, I want to introduce some necessary information about this plant first. Make sure you read carefully to start with ease.

Quick Description

  • Common name: Milky bellflower
  • Family: Campanulaceae
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 3 – 4 feet
  • Spread: 1.5 – 2 feet
  • Bloom time: June to July
  • Sunlight: Part shade to full sun
  • Cultivars: Alba (white), London Anna (pale pink), and Prichard’s Variety (violet blue)

The name “Campanula” means “bell,” while the name of “lactiflora” comes from the Latin word “milk” and refers to the milky sap in the stems. That’s why its common name is the Milky Bellflower.

Plant details

Campanula lactiflora or the milky bellflower is a tall, coarse, and upright bellflower that is native to Turkey and the Caucasus. It is a medium-sized perennial that grows between 3 and 4 feet (less frequently to 5 feet) tall.

  • Flowers: Its large, bell-like and tubular flowers appear in the upper leaf axils and small clusters.
  • Stems: The hairy and unbranched stems develop from basal rosettes of toothed, ovate-oblong, and stalked green leaves.
  • Leaves: They often become narrower, smaller, pointed, and then sessile when going up towards the stems.

In appropriate conditions, this plant will self-seed with different results, resulting in different colors like pale blue or white.

Then Check A Thorough Care Guide On Planting

Sowing

Start sowing the seeds into pots or cells with good quality seed compost.

Make sure you sow finely onto the surface and then press gently on the compost. And remember not to cover them because sunlight supports the germination of seeds.

The next thing is to put in a propagator or cover with a plastic lid and place in a warm area. The ideal temperature should be from 65 to 680F.

After that, water from the base to keep the compost moist enough, yet not too much. Or the seedlings might suffer damping off.

KEEP IN MIND that:

  • Sowing indoors should begin between January to April.
  • Sowing outdoors should start between May to June.
  • In case you sow this plant early in the year, it will bloom late in summer. Or if it is sown late in the year, it will overwinter in frost-free conditions and then plant out after the frost has passed.

Transplanting

When the seedlings have some first pairs of leaves and are big enough to handle, you need to put each seedling into pots to continue developing.

Then acclimatize them to outdoor conditions about 10 to 15 days before growing (make sure all risks of frost haves gone).

You also plant them in a place which is 12 inches apart. At the same time, provide diffused light to make them develop better. And don’t forget to grow in sun or partial shade, in neutral, fertile to alkaline soil that is moist yet well-drained.

Propagating

There are many different ways on how to reproduce the milky bellflower.

  • The first method is to sow the seeds as soon as they are ripe. Usually, these seeds will germinate in 2 to 4 weeks at 65°F.
  • The second one is to prick out the large seedlings into individual containers and develop them in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pot is large enough to ensure proper root development.
  • The third one is to grow them into the permanent places in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
  • The fourth one is to harvest the shoots as they are between 4 and 6 inches long, with plenty of underground stems. Then put them into pots and place in light shade in a greenhouse or cold areas until their roots develop well. Next, plant them out in the summer.
  • The last method is to let it self-sow freely. Just deadhead if you don’t need volunteer seedlings in the next season.

More tips

About planting:

  • The hole should be deep enough and two times larger than the root ball.
  • After placing it in the hole, start pushing the soil gently around the roots and firm by hand. Make sure the soil to be even or at least up to one inch.
  • These taller plants need staking, so it is best to do early in the spring and before the foliage gets bushy.

About watering:

  • Watering daily for weeks is necessary for new plants. Then water every two or three days.
  • The ideal water for the root zone is about 6 to 12 inches from the base of the plant, not the whole plant.
  • It is best to water in the morning so that the plant has enough time to dry during the day.
  • You should use your finger or a trowel to dig in the soil and check for the soil moisture. If the first layer of soil (about 2 to 4 inches) is dry, you need to water instantly.

About fertilizing:

  • The best time to feed the plants is in the early spring and then halfway through the developing season. Never apply fertilizer late in the developing season, or this will quicken new developments that can be broken by first frosts.
  • To encourage blooming, you should add all-purpose or granulated starter fertilizer (labeled 5-10-15).

About pruning:

  • Never prune after September because this stimulates new development that is easily damaged when the first frost comes.
  • If the plants have died to the ground, you can cut back to about 4 inches above the ground.
  • Dig the plants up and divide them equally every 3 to 4 years to get new growth and encourage upcoming blooming.
  • Prune the plant back in the early spring to keep it bushy and robust.

About cultivating:

  • Sandy loam is perfect for the milky bellflower since it requires high-quality drainage. If the soil is heavy, you need to add a raised bed or double dig to make the new soil friable.
  • In case your backyard is full of sun, you should apply a generous mulch of well-rotted compost (2 to 3 inches) surrounding the base of the plant in the spring.

And Find Ways To Control Pest Or Disease Problems

When it comes to diseases and pests of Campanula, the milky bellflower is prone to most of the common garden pests such as snails, slugs, spider mites, vine weevils, and aphids.

Additionally, you might catch powdery mildew, rust, Southern blight, and Ramularia and Septoria leaf spot.

However, all these problems can be solved with ease.

You can visit a nearby garden center and purchase insecticidal soap for mites and aphids or diatomaceous earth for slugs.

Overall, they are not BIG issues, and you can handle well.

It Is Time To Make Your Garden Lovely

To be honest, gardeners widely appreciate Campanula Lactiflora. Not only is it perfect for cottage backyards but also bed and borders or even underplanting.

Moreover, these flowers are edible, especially for salads. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?

So, if you are going to plant this perennial in sweeping drifts and mix with roses at the rear of the borders, you should DO instantly. Just make sure to mass or group the plants to get the best effect for the garden.

Hopefully, this article helped you out a lot.

And don’t mind asking me anything you still wonder since I’m willing to support you at anytime.

Once again, thanks for reading.

References:

Campanula Lactiflora (Milky bellflower): How to Plant, Grow and Care
5 (2) vote[s]