Takion Blue bellflower. Photo: Proven Winners

Campanula, also known as bellflower, is grown for the charming bell-shaped flowers in shades of purple, blue, pink, or white. With over 300 species, Campanula can be found growing in a wide range of habitats throughout temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, from rocky alpine cliffs to native meadows.

Long a staple of cottage-style gardens, Campanula comes in an array of sizes and forms, making it a versatile addition to mixed or woodland borders, rock gardens, mass plantings, containers, or as edging along pathways or borders. Here’s how to grow campanula and use this reliable low-maintenance plant in your yard.

On this page: Basics | Planting | Care | Pictures | Frequently Asked Questions | Landscaping Ideas

On this page:


Botanical name:

Campanula spp.

Plant type:

Perennial, biennial, or annual; deciduous, semi-evergreen, or evergreen




Full sun to partial shade


Upright, mounding, or trailing habit


4 to 48 inches tall and wide

Bloom time:

Late spring to early fall, depending on variety and climate


Flowers are bell-shaped, cup-shaped, star-shaped, or tubular, occurring in hues of purple, blue, lavender, red, burgundy, pink, or white. Blooms can be single or double, facing upwards, outwards, or hanging down.


Serrated heart-shaped, rounded, or lance-shaped foliage is green or gold.

Is campanula toxic?

Campanula is non-toxic to pets and children, though ingesting any plant may cause mild stomach upset.

Is campanula deer resistant?

Bellflower is considered deer resistant, though plants may experience some damage from grazing if other food sources are scarce.


When to plant:

Bellflower can be grown from seeds or starts. Plant during milder months in spring or fall to avoid stress from extreme heat or cold.

Where to plant:

Choose a site with full sun to partial shade and rich, well-drained soil. Provide afternoon shade in hotter climates.

How to plant:

Loosen soil in the planting area and amend with compost or other organic matter. Dig a hole slightly wider and the same depth as the root ball. Remove plant from the nursery container and tease out roots if potbound. Place in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Fill in the hole with soil, tamp down gently to remove air pockets, and water thoroughly. Water plants regularly until established. Space plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety.


Campanula persicifolia. Photo: imageBroker / Shutterstock


Bellflower prefers warm days and cool nights, and is intolerant of extreme heat.


Performs best in rich, well-draining soil with a pH of 6 to 8. Some species are tolerant of poor soils, including clay or rock. For containers, use a high-quality, all-purpose potting mix.

Amendments & fertilizer:

In early spring, apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer according to instructions. Add a thin layer of organic mulch around plants to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and keep roots cool.


Campanula prefer moderate water, though some species are drought-tolerant. Keep soil evenly moist but not soggy. Don’t allow plants to dry out completely. Water more frequently during heat and dry spells.


In late winter or early spring before plants show new growth, cut back dead foliage from the previous year. When plants are flowering, deadhead to promote more blooms. Trim off old flowers carefully to avoid removing new buds.

Pests and diseases:

When grown in the right conditions, campanula is resistant to pests and diseases. Pests can include aphids, slugs and snails, spider mites, thrips and whiteflies. Diseases include crown rot, leaf spot, powdery mildew, root rot, and rust.


Swipe to view slides

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Takion BlueBuy now from Proven Winners
Campanula persicifolia

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounding habit
Height/Spread: 16 to 20 inches tall, 12 to 16 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring to summer

Also known as peach-leaved bellflower, the 2.5-inch cup-shaped flowers face upward and outward, unlike most other Campanula. The lavender-blue coloring goes with many other flowering plants. Use this compact variety at the front of mixed borders, in mass plantings, or in containers.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Takion WhiteBuy now from Proven Winners
Campanula persicifolia

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounding habit
Height/Spread: 16 to 20 inches tall, 12 to 16 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring to summer

Bell-shaped white flowers are held on sturdy stems above the bright-green foliage. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other insect pollinators. Unlike most other Campanula, ‘Taikon White’ has flowers that face upward and outward. Use in beds, borders, and containers.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rapido BlueBuy now from Proven Winners
Campanula carpatica

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Compact mounding habit
Height/Spread: 5 to 7 inches tall, 5 to 8 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring through summer

Cup-shaped violet blue flowers occur in profusion on low-mounding plants. Use as a ground cover, in mass plantings, or to edge beds and borders. This exceptionally hardy variety is suitable for colder climates. Protect from hot afternoon sun in warmer climates.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rapido WhiteBuy now from Proven Winners
Campanula carpatica

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Compact mounding habit
Height/Spread: 5 to 7 inches tall, 5 to 8 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring through summer

Pure white cup-shaped flowers bloom in profusion over a long time, from late spring through summer. Plant this compact variety at the edge of mixed borders or pathways, mass in the landscape, or add to a moon garden. Deadhead to encourage rebloom.

Photo: Mobfigurz / Shutterstock

‘Birch Hybrid'
Campanula poscharskyana x C. garganica

Zones: 4-9
Habit: Mounding trailing habit
Height/Spread: 4 to 6 inches tall, 8 to 12 inches wide
Bloom time: Early summer to early fall

This vigorous semi-evergreen perennial produces a profusion of bell-shaped violet-blue flowers over several months, from early summer into fall. The trailing habit is suitable to cascade over rock walls, hanging baskets, and containers. Plant in a rock garden, mixed border, or mass in the landscape.

Photo: Manfred Ruckszio / Shutterstock

Dalmation Bellflower
Campanula portenschlagiana

Zones: 3-9
Habit: Mounding trailing habit
Height/Spread: 6 to 12 inches tall, 20 to 36 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring into fall

This fast-growing, herbaceous perennial blooms prolifically all summer long, with dark purple flower buds that open to lighter purple flowers. Vigorous semi-evergreen plants have a trailing habit, making them suitable as a creeping ground cover, or to cascade over walls. Plant in a rock or crevice garden, as edging along borders or pathways, in hanging baskets or containers.

Photo: Juver / Shutterstock

Canterbury Bells
Campanula medium

Zones: 3-9
Habit: Upright habit
Height/Spread: 1 to 3 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide
Bloom time: Late spring to mid-summer

Canterbury bells is an old-fashioned cottage garden favorite that is especially popular in England. Also known as cup and saucer, this biennial produces showy 2-inch cup-shaped flowers on tall, slender stems. Blooms occur in soft pastel hues of purple, lavender, blue, pink, and white. Use this stately variety to create height in cottage or mixed borders. Makes a good cut flower.

Photo: Elena Odareeva / Shutterstock

Spotted Bellflower
Campanula punctata

Zones: 5-8
Habit: Upright clumping habit
Height/Spread: 1 to 2 feet tall, 1 to 3 feet wide
Bloom time: Summer

Named for the spotted patterns on the inside of the blooms, this Asian native produces elegant nodding flowers throughout much of the summer in shades of blue, red, burgundy, pink, or white. This charming clump-forming perennial makes a showy addition to woodland borders and cottage-style gardens.

Photo: Svetlanko / Shutterstock

Serbian Bellflower
Campanula poscharskyana

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounding trailing habit
Height/Spread: 4 to 12 inches tall, 12 to 24 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring to early summer

With a low spreading habit, Serbian bellflower can be used to trail over rock walls, massed along slopes or beds, in rock gardens, or as edging. This tough perennial produces small bell-shaped flowers and is semi-evergreen or evergreen in milder climates. Plants grow vigorously in optimal conditions.

Photo: Anatoli Lyzun / Shutterstock

Clustered Bellflower
Campanula glomerata

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Upright spreading habit
Height/Spread: 6 to 24 inches tall, 12 to 36 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring to summer

This herbaceous perennial is named for the upright-facing bell-shaped flowers that occur in tight clusters at the tip of the stems. Flowers are most often violet blue, but can also occur in shades of white or pink. Plants spread moderately in moist soils, but are not considered invasive. Use in mass plantings, cottage-style borders and woodland gardens.

Photo: Todd Boland / Millette Photomedia

'Dickson's Gold'
Campanula garganica ‘Aurea’

Zones: 4-8
Habit: Compact mounding habit
Height/Spread: 3 to 6 inches tall, 6 to 24 inches wide
Bloom time: Late spring to mid-summer

Also known as Adriatic bellflower, this unique perennial Campanula is grown for the golden-yellow foliage that provides stunning contrast to the vivid blue flowers. This variety has a compact or spreading habit, making it suitable for edging, mass plantings, containers, rock gardens, or as a ground cover. Foliage color is best in semi-shade. Evergreen in milder climates.


Is bellflower an invasive plant?

Most Campanula are not considered invasive, though they can self-sow or spread through rhizomatous roots. Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) is listed as a noxious weed in some growing regions, producing creeping rhizomes that are difficult to eradicate.

Is bellflower plant edible?

Many species of bellflower are edible. The roots can be consumed raw or cooked, while the leaves can be eaten as fresh greens. Flowers can be added to salads or used as a colorful garnish.

How long do bellflowers bloom?

Flowering time varies according to the variety and climate. Most bloom over a period of several weeks or months, anywhere from late spring to early fall.

Does campanula come back every year?

Most Campanula are hardy perennials, coming back from year to year. Some species are biennials or annuals.

Do campanulas spread?

Campanula tend to spread vigorously in optimal growing conditions, though most are not considered invasive. To control spread, dig out the outer edges of the plant. Pull out any unwanted seedlings.


'Bells and Whistles' clustered bellflower. Photo: Walters Gardens, Inc.

For borders and landscapes:

Plant in a mixed border, woodland or rock garden, cottage-style landscape, meadow garden, as edging for pathways or borders.

For slopes and hillsides:

Mass campanula plants along a slope or hillside to help control erosion.

For containers:

Plant trailing campanulas in containers, hanging baskets, or window boxes. Combine mounding or trailing types with other plants with similar growing needs.

There are many ways to incorporate campanula into your home landscape. Here’s how:

  • Use a low-growing variety as an underplanting in a rose bed or shrub border.
  • Naturalize in a wildflower meadow interspersed with other meadow plants. Read more on creating a meadow garden.
  • Use a taller upright form such as Canterbury bells to add height to mixed or woodland borders and cottage-style gardens.
  • Mass a ground-cover type along a slope for an ornamental solution to control erosion.
  • Plant a ground-cover variety along a pathway as edging for summer-long color.
  • Smaller upright or mounding types can be planted near the front of a mixed border in combination with complementary colored perennials such as black-eyed Susan, coreopsis, echinacea or lady’s mantle.
  • Add campanulas to a pollinator garden to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects.
  • Combine a smaller variety of Campanula in a container with other plants with similar growing needs such as creeping Charlie, dianthus, lobelia, calibrachoa, and pansies.
  • Use a trailing type in a hanging basket and display on a porch or patio for weeks of continuous color.
  • Plant trailing campanula along a rock wall and allow it to cascade over the edge.
  • Grow bellflower in a rock garden with other plants such as aubretia, columbine, gold alyssum, sea thrift, and snow-in-summer.

Companion plants: In addition to those mentioned above, these plants also go well with bellflower: allium, columbine, daylily, foxglove, geranium, hydrangea, Jupiter’s beard, kniphofia, lady’s mantle, lamb’s ear, lavender, phlox, and primula.

Our 20+ Favorite Cottage Garden Plants & Flowers
20 Full-Sun Perennials That Bloom All Summer
12 Plants for a Colorful Summer Garden

JOIN 100,000 GARDEN LOVERSSign up for weekly gardening inspiration and design tips

Get plant information, gardening solutions, design inspiration and more in our weekly newsletter.

* Required Fields
We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations.

More about the newsletter

Follow Us Garden Design Magazine Facebook Garden Design Magazine Twitter Garden Design Magazine Pinterest Garden Design Magazine Instagram Garden Design Magazine Youtube