Growing Adenophora confusa (Ladybells)

Latin Name Pronunciation: ad-en-off'or-uh 

Adenophora is a member of the Campanula family, with about 40 species whose blue flowers are hard to tell from Campanulas unless you are a botanist. By far the best is our old friend, A. confusa, or Ladybells, a lovely plant whose 36–40in stems bear rows of large, purplish blue flowers in July and August. This is an excellent blue with no enemies on the color wheel. It’s an easy keeper in full sun or partial shade and evenly moist but well-drained soil. Hardy in zones 3-7s/3-10w. Potgrown.

CULTURE: Provide good garden soil in well-drained location with at least 4 hours of sun. Feed lightly in early spring and cut back to ground level after first heavy frost in the fall. Space plants 12-18" apart.

PROBLEMS: Adenophora has relatively few problems with either pests or diseases. Plants can be somewhat slow to establish, and resent being disturbed after they are established. Not recommended for desert Southwest. Plants spread by seed, so deadhead to prevent unwanted seedlings, which are easily dug up in spring if you find an abundance.