The Q&A Archives: Why the white Balloon flowers?

Question: My balloon flowers ( Platycodon ) produced only blue and purple flowers their first three years, but last year some blooms were white! What happened? Robert Ehlers Las Cruces, NM

Answer: Your balloon flowers have reseeded themselves and you're seeing some of the offspring, says Norm Lawnds, horticulturist at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. In our hot, dry climate, these plants reseed easily. Since balloon flowers also come in white and pink, your plants probably are hybrids with one white flowered parent. When the flowers crossed, the white flower genes randomly matched in a few of the new plants and white flowers appeared, Lawnds explains. If you don't like white you can remove the plants, or just enjoy Mother Nature's mysterious floral display.

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