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Is Creeping Bellflower Invasive? [Cause and Management]

The weird potential of Creeping Bellflower to escape its designated space, spread rapidly, and turn invasive justifies the name.

Generally, the perennial Creeping Bellflower persists in the ground for a long time, along with its self-seeding ability. Eventually, the plant’s fast-growing runners lead to taking over the entire garden and surrounding plants.

Uprooting the plant, deadheading, and timely pruning them can help you enjoy its purple beauty subduing the invasive nature.

Is Creeping Bellflower Invasive?

Believe it or not, the beauty of the Creeping Bellflower can not mask its extremely invasive nature.

Campanula rapunculoides, aka Creeping Bellflower, is an aggressively invasive herbaceous perennial capable of obstructing the growth of surrounding plants. 

Generally, the invasive nature of Creeping Bellflower is favored by its lateral growing runners, followed by the self-seeding quality.
Native to Europe and the western part of Asia, these bell-shaped flowering plants can attain a height of 1 to 3 feet and a spread of 2-3 feet within a growing season.

The extensive underground rhizomes of the plant keep sending the runners. Meanwhile, these runners give rise to the shoots, gradually forming a thick mat of the Creeping Bellflower that rapidly colonizes the proximity.

A type of bellflower popping out of its space.
Creeping Bellflowers can easily outgrow the main plant.

Competing with the neighboring vegetation for nutrients, light, and space, the deep root of Bellflowers weakens them and may take over the garden.

Even the winters from zone 3 to zone 9 do not really affect the root as they go dormant and revive as soon as the warm spring begins before other non-hardy plants.

So, the chance of Creeping Bellflower shading out the other plant is comparatively high. 

Not to mention the hundreds of seeds Creeping Bellflowers produce during the blooming season, with each seed capable of growing into new plants. 

Further, these seeds are readily dispersed, facilitating the plant to establish itself in a new location and contributing to its invasive spread.

Should I Pull Creeping Bellflower?

It is always wise to start managing the Creeping Bellflower before it aggressively turns towards your garden and fellow garden plant. 

For that, beginners often opt for pulling the plant as an easy and cost-effective method. 

However, pulling alone may not address the invasion issue, as a tiny bit of remaining roots has the potential to pop up into a new plant. 

So, here are some important steps that can help control the Creeping Bellflower invasion. 

  • Use a trowel to dig into the soil and remove the entire plant with the root system and creepy runner instead of pulling them.
  • Cover the Bellflowers to block the light, which is essential for plant growth. Since Campanula is photophilic and low light discourages growth and root development. 
  • Uproot the Campanula seedling emerging out of their place in the garden. 
  • Trim the extensively spreading runners to prevent the plant from taking over your garden. 
  • Divide the rhizome or tubers to avoid the strong establishment of the Campanula in the ground. 
  • Deadhead the flower to avoid seed production to suppress the chance of self-seeding.
  • You can also apply a layer of mulch to avert the germination of dispersed seeds.
  • Spray Triclopyr herbicides in larger lawns where pulling and deadheading the individual plant is impossible. These herbicides work on the Creeping Bellflower but won’t harm the grass. 

From Editorial Team

Prune to Maintain the Size!

Creeping Bellflowers intrusion should not hold you from enjoying the mesmerizing tubular blooms. 

Prune the plant regularly during its active growing season (spring and summer) to keep them intact.