Growing and Saving the Seed of Balloon Flower

Latin name is Platycodon is a perennial flower with medicinal and ornamental properties. The nickname "balloon flower" refers to its fascinating blooming process. As the flower matures, the blossom swells like a balloon, until finally bursting open into a 5-pointed star-shaped flower.



Native to East Asia, balloon flower root is a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as traditional Korean medicine. The root is believed to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The root is a popular ingredient in Korean bibimbap.


  • Ornamental, beds, borders, landscape, containers.
  • Roots are edible, the rest of the plant is not considered edible.




  • Seeds germinate in 5-15 days.
  • Seeds can be direct sown in fall or spring. You can also start seeds indoors in early spring.
  • Cover seeds with a thin sprinkle of soil (light aids germination).
  • Lightly water.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 65-75 F.


  • Cold hardy perennial from USDA zones 4-9.
  • Prefers full sun and part shade.
  • Well-drained, slightly acidic soil is best.
  • Balloon flower will tolerate moderate dry spells but prefers consistent moisture.


Plants are insect and disease resistant and resistant to deer.


  • Balloon flower is the only member of the genus platycodon, so seeds can be saved reliably without chance of cross-pollination.
  • The small seeds will readily shake from the pods.