Campanula 'Pink Octopus'
5/11/2022 4:59 pm
Campanula Pink Octopus
Campanula 'Pink Octopus' is an odd duck plant. In the South, it thrives in some of the worst conditions of my garden -- the driest of shade and part-shade. The lower foliage is rich and lux, forming a dense mat of ground cover. By mid-May, the plant will shoot up flower branches with thin dissected foliage and super cool pink octopus like blooms, as many as 50 to a branch. The entire plant only gets 10-15" tall too, so it is a great underplant.
Some of the literature talks about it needing regular moisture, but for me it needs no additional moisture than we normally get -- even in drought years. I have never directly watered these with the exception of the first one I acquired from Piccadilly Nursery in 2008. Campanula 'Pink Octopus' is not only water wise, but it seems impervious to pest, diseases and deer too. Plus a little deadheading will lead to a second flush of blooms!
Sound too good to be true? Well, it is a Campanula. They are known for aggression. But is this one too aggressive? Only if you have lots of other things that thrive underneath the low canopy of a weeping Crimson Queen Maple or in a hell strip or by a curb that sometimes gets tire traffic? Moreover, in a battle of Campanula 'Pink Octopus' versus Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield', 'Ryan's Pink' or Aster 'Jane Bath', the asters inevitably win. Maybe the next "knock out round" will be to test it directly against Japanese Painted Ferns, which I am finding harder to control than this Campanula.
That said, I am careful to not let Campanula 'Pink Octopus' get too much of a foothold where I don't want it to be. It pulls up readily in sun and part sun or where soil is moist, but given its ideal shade and dry soil, it is a more tedious task to remove once established.
- Contributed by Liane Schleifer (who is happy to share divisions with anyone who wants them). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org