Introduction

The Campanula genus contains some species that are biennials and others that are true perennials. The cut-flower species include Campanula medium (also known as Canterbury Bells) Campanula latifolia and Campanula persicifolia. The colour-range for these attractive flowers is not great. It currently includes white, pinks and blues.

Most production in New Zealand and overseas is based indoors. Protection from wind, heavy rainfall, frost and hail is essential for successful cut flower production outside. Most northern growers use raised beds for production as the plants are susceptible to a range of root and crown diseases. Check your soil type before deciding is this is required on your site. Drip-tapes is the recommended method for irrigation.

Growing Campanula

Propagation: Campanula medium is grown from seed and is a biennial. Crops for Southland also has some experience with Campanula persicifolia, which is a perennial.
Yields/ha: Up to 3 saleable flowers per plant @ 25 plants m2
Full production: 1st Year.
Crop protection: Some flower fall over in the wind but crop support would probably make things worse as the stems would be very difficult to pick.
Soil type: Free draining.
Fertilisers: Moderate fertility ideal.
Weed control: Needed when plants are young. As they mature it becomes less important as you can spray any weeds once the plants have flowered.
Pest/Diseases: Take care to avoid Rhizoctonia and Pellicularia in the crown and roots. Also watch for Sclerotinia and Rust on the leaves.
Harvesting: Harvesting during the cooler parts of the day is recommended. Stems are cut when 1-2 of the flowers open for Domestic markets and when buds are swollen but not opened for the Export market. Place immediately in water containing a post-harvest solution. Grades are based on length of stem and colour.
Marketing: There is an emerging export market for Campanula. However, most are sold on the New Zealand domestic market.

Further Information

Crops for Southland grew a commercial crop of Campanula medium in the 2000-01 season.