Perennial Overview: Campanula (Canterbury Bells)


Discover how to grow Campanula (Canterbury Bells) with instructions on starting seed, transplanting, site selection, care and maintenance, water and fertilization requirements, pests and disease, and harvesting and storage.

Campanula (Canterbury Bells) Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Campanula medium

Common Name(s): Canterbury bells

Height: 1.5-3 feet

Soil Conditions:  Well-drained, moist soil

Sun: Full sun/partial shade

Soil pH Conditions: 6.6-7.8

Planting Instructions

Can I Start Campanula (Canterbury Bells) from Seed?

To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil. Press them lightly into the soil to ensure contact with growing medium. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 70-75°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.


When to Start Seeds: >6-10 weeks prior to planting
Time to Germination: 14-21 days
Light/Darkness Requirements: Light


When Do I Plant Campanula (Canterbury Bells)?

Campanula (Canterbury Bells) are cold sensitive and should not be planted until after the last frost and the soil has reached at least 65°F.  They will germinate much more quickly in warmer soil.  You can hasten the warming of the soil with black plastic mulch.

Soil Temperature: 65°F


Where Do I Plant Campanula (Canterbury Bells)?

Canterbury bells require moist soil so choose a location that is naturally moist or it will become necessary to water frequently.  They flourish in cool weather with low humidity. In areas with prolonged hot weather spells, the plant may benefit from being planted in the shade.

Campanula (Canterbury Bells) plants perform best in loamy, well-drained soil high in organic matter but will grow in nearly any good garden soil that receives full sun and is well-drained. Incorporating several inches of organic matter into the soil when preparing the bed will improve growth and development.

Soil Conditions:  Well-drained, moist soil
Sun: Full sun/partial shade
Soil pH Conditions: 6.6-7.8


How Far Apart Do I Plant Campanula (Canterbury Bells)?

10” apart.

Campanula (Canterbury Bells) Plant Care and Maintenance

Once established, most perennials require very little routine care and maintenance.

How Often Should I Water Campanula (Canterbury Bells)?

For many perennials, average rainfall is sufficient to keep the plants healthy.  Supplementation may be necessary in droughty conditions.

The key to watering Campanula (Canterbury Bells) is to maintain a consistent moisture level.  This is especially important during development. The soil should be moist to a depth of 6”.  Water the soil around the plant. Overhead watering will encourage disease.  Drip irrigation is best.

Mulch around the plant will help to lock in moisture.


Should I Fertilize Campanula (Canterbury Bells)?

Most perennials do not require a specific fertilization regiment.  Fertilizing decisions should be based on a soil test.  If a soil test cannot be obtained and you feel that your perennial bed would benefit from fertilization, keep it light.  Work in a small amount of a low nitrogen fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 around the plants in the early spring and once or twice at six-week intervals.

Fertilize the soil around the plant at least 6” from the plant base. Irrigate into the soil.


Additional Care Instructions

The first year of seeding, you will need to mulch the plant prior to winter to protect it prior to becoming established.

Cut plant back after flowering each season.

Campanula (Canterbury Bells) Diseases

The most common diseases associated with this plant include botrytis, gray mold, powdery mildew, and rust.

Campanula (Canterbury Bells) Pests

The most common pests associated with this plant include aphids, slugs, thrips, and two spotted spider mites.


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