Campanula Growing Guide

Campanula species and hybrids, Campanula medium (Canterbury bells)


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with compost.


Full sun to partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Yes, campanula is a hardy perennial, with many species originating in northern Europe. Well-rooted plants are hardy to -34°C (-30°F).


Drench with a liquid organic fertiliser when plants begin to grow tall in late spring or early summer. Feed again in late summer to prolong bloom time.


Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 30cm (11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Canterbury bells is a biennial or short-lived perennial, best started from seed sown in summer. Keep the little plants weeded, and nurse them through winter, and then enjoy a profusion of flowers in spring. Alternatively, start with potted plants of improved varieties, which are widely available in spring. Set out plants as early as possible, while the soil is still cool. Spread the roots with your fingers, and take care not to bury the crown, which can lead to rotting. Young plants need water when they are actively growing. A surface mulch suppresses weeds while making the plants look more attractive.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Campanulas are valued for their blue colour, with plant size and habit varying with species. Several types are vigorous ground covers, which other form clumps suitable for a rock garden. Check plant tags to make sure you are buying the type of campanula you want.


Gather stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them. Removing spent blossoms will keep the plants in bloom longer. In midsummer, cut plants back by half to encourage a strong flush of new growth. Allow biennial Canterbury bells time to develop mature seeds. In hospitable sites, it is a modest reseeder.


Most campanulas grow best in climates with cool summer nights. Humid heat causes them to melt down soon after flowering.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Campanula