Creeping Bellflower, Campanula rapunculoides, has because of its aggressive nature, been classified as an invasive species. Creeping bellflower produces an abundance of seeds, (upwards of 15,000 per plant), which are then easily distributed by insects and gentle breezes. It also spreads rapidly from rhizomes, creating a monoculture in fields, woodlands, along roadsides and streambanks and urban wastelands. It likes shady spots best but it also does quite well in full sun.
I finally had to do something about the creeping bell flower overtaking one of my flowerbeds. It is one of the few flower beds that came with the house. I have been trying to control the creeping bell flower by pulling it out and did manage somewhat until I noticed that perennials that I had added to the garden were being choked out entirely.
I will explain my action plan as carried out.
- I covered the interlocking walkway with a huge tarp to keep soil from between the stones.
- I started systematically digging out chunks of the bellflower,( 6 to 9 inches into the soil on all sides of the plant, shaking off what soil I could and placing it into paper bags. (Do not add it to your compost!) I was careful to remove the rhizomes and as many of the little white roots as I could from the soil.
- As I came to perennials that I wanted to keep, I dug them up, then washed all the soil off the roots. I planted them into pots for now as I do not want to move the bell flower to another bed.
- I decided not to dig up my climbing rose and clematis. The bell flower hasn’t reached that end of the bed so I am hoping I can get away with it.
- After all the bellflower was removed, I poured cleaning vinegar along the edge of the garden that is next to the interlocking walkway, then I covered the entire garden with newspaper, including around the rose bush and clematis, and then I applied a very thick layer of mulch. I plan to leave the garden like this until next spring then I will reintroduce some perennials once again.
- For this year, I added a pot of petunias and a gazing ball on top of the mulch.
authored by Carol Anderson