Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Axminster Streaked’ (Balloon Flower) [20 Seeds]

(4 customer reviews)


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-sowers only, because they require patience as well as some special attention after planting.

Sow in pots, either indoors in late winter to late spring (in a bright spot at around 70°F) or outdoors from late spring to midsummer. Scatter the seeds evenly over the surface of moist growing medium and press them into the surface; do not bury them, and don’t let the growing medium dry out. Germination can be slow; look for some seedlings in 3 to 4 weeks, with additional sprouting possible thereafter.

Be aware that only around 30 percent of the seedlings you grow from these seeds are likely to have bicolor flowers; the rest will be solid purple-blue or white. I suggest potting up the seedlings in groups of four or five when they are about 1 inch tall, then planting them in your garden (still in their groups) when they are 2 to 3 inches tall. When they begin to bloom, keep a close eye on the plants. If you see stems that are consistently producing only solid-purple or solid-white flowers, cut them off right at the base (if you don’t want them), leaving just the stems with variegated flowers.

Once you get your ‘Axminster Streaked’ plants producing their showy flowers, I heartily encourage you to collect seeds from them (remember, only the bicolor ones!) and share them with gardening friends and seed exchanges. I don’t know of any other sources of seed for this unique strain, and it would be very sad if it got lost to cultivation.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Commonly known as balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus), this perennial produces puffed-up buds that open into purple-blue flowers in mid- to late summer, possibly with scattered rebloom in autumn. The flowers of this strain, ‘Axminster Streaked’, are speckled and streaked with varying amounts of white. The plants may also produce some predominantly white flowers with purple spots or streaks, as well as some solid purple or solid white blooms. (Figure that about 30 percent of the plants are likely to have true-to-type flowers, though I think that percentage is slowly improving as I carefully rogue out the solid-colored plants each year.) The foliage of balloon flower turns yellow, sometimes shaded with maroon, in fall. Plants may flower the first year if started indoors in spring, at a rather sprawling 12 to 18 inches tall. Established plants usually reach about 3 feet tall, with stronger, more upright stems. Full sun to partial shade. Zones 3 or 4 to 8.

Interested in the origins of this unique strain? It was discovered by Lynda Windsor of RD Plants in Devon, U.K., in 1990. Here is the story: New Platycodon. I have been growing it since 2008, from seed acquired through a seed exchange.

Collected in early October 2023. At least 20 seeds. Shipping to US addresses only.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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4 reviews for Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Axminster Streaked’ (Balloon Flower) [20 Seeds]

  1. Rhonda M. (verified owner)

  2. Julie Vance (verified owner)

  3. Anonymous (verified owner)

    I always have trouble germinate Platy. seeds for some reason, and I’m not sure why. In any case, they germinated at about the normal rate for me and seem to be doing pretty well. I’ll probably grab some more at the end of this season.

  4. Judith Albert (verified owner)

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