Eustoma, commonly referred to as Lisianthus, Tulip Gentian, Texas Bluebells, Praire Gentian, or Lizzy, is a small genus that contains three species of flowering plants. Lisianthus is originated in the warm regions of northern South America, the southern United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
Lisianthus plants are mostly cultivated for their exotic flowers that can be used in bouquets and for indoor decoration. These plants are great for showy purposes and many choose to bring a dash of color by decorating walls, gates, fences, or hedges with them.
Although they were linked to romantic feelings in the past, Lisianthus flowers are now considered a symbol of appreciation, charisma, and gratitude. This very meaningful symbolism is the main reason why people gift these gorgeous flowers to a special or loved one.
About Lisianthus Plants
- Lisianthus flowers can be combined in bouquets with anthurium, rosehips, and blackberries. They can survive in a vase filled with water for two weeks or so.
- They serve as an excellent indoor air purifier. Lisianthus flowers are also very popular among allergy-prone growers thanks to their non-fragrant flowers.
- In Greek, the name Lisianthus means “dissolving flower”, while the word Eustoma means “beautiful mouth”.
- Lisianthus plants were often used in traditional medicine, but nowadays they have unknown health benefits.
- Lisianthus plants prefer warm days with full sunlight. They can also do well in partial shade, but only when they grow in areas with hot temperatures.
- These plants require a soil that is always damp, so you should water them regularly. Make sure you protect them from rain, as this will produce spots on their petals.
- They love some extra attention, so you should feed them with nutrient-rich fertilizer during their growing season.
- If you want to repot your Lisianthus, the ideal time to do so is in the early spring.
- Lisianthus plants are pet-friendly and non-toxic to humans. If you have curious cats, dogs, or children, these plants are excellent for growing both indoors and outdoors.
Lisianthus Plants Features: An Overview
- Lisianthus plants belong to the Gentianaceae family and they are closely related to Persian violets and gentians.
- There are two well-known species: Eustoma Exaltatum and Eustoma Russellianum.
- Depending on the region where they are grown, these plants can be perennials, biennials, and also annuals.
- They are medium-sized herbaceous plants that can reach between 6 and 40 inches (0.1-1 m) in height and up to 14 inches (35.5 cm) in width.
- Some dwarf varieties of these plants can be grown indoors, such as the Balboa series, Flamenco series, and Maurine series.
- Their smooth, dark green, succulent-like foliage and funnel-shaped bloomings grow on long straight stems.
- Lisianthus plants have attractive bloomings both in bud and full bloom. Usually, each stem contains several flowers.
- During their blooming season, Lisianthus plants produce exquisite flowers in various shades of purple, pink, blue, and white. Some specimens will exhibit bicolored petals.
Growing Lisianthus Plants
With their diverse color palette and easy-to-grow behavior, Lisianthus plants are an excellent choice for beginner gardeners that are sometimes forgetful.
Lisianthus plants are light-lovers that enjoy warm days in full sun exposure. If you live in a region with a very hot climate, these plants will appreciate some afternoon shade. When growing them indoors, place them in front of a sunny window or a spot where they can receive enough bright and indirect light. During the winter, these plants can tolerate more direct light.
In their arid natural habitat, these plants have adapted to extreme heat and dry conditions. Lisianthus plants do well in day temperatures between 75 and 85 °F (23.8-29.4 °C). At night, they prefer warm temperatures in the 60-65 °F (15.5-18.3 °C) range.
Plant your Lisianthus in a slightly acidic to neutral soil (6.5 to 7.0 pH) that has good drainage. These plants do not tolerate a soil pH that is too acidic and they will show it through yellow leaves and lack of vigor. The ideal growing environment for these plants is a raised garden bed. Look for a potting soil that is rich in organic matter, such as compost, manure, or leaf mold.
Besides their unconditional love for sunlight, Lisianthus plants will benefit from regular nutrient-based fertilizing. During their growing season, feed these plants with a flower fertilizer according to the package instructions. The fertilizer should contain 1.5 more nitrogen than potassium.
Due to their sporadic habit of blooming, Lisianthus plants tend to bend themselves when are too many flowers on a stem. But this is not an alarming sign! You can always help your plant with beautiful decorative supports, such as metal cage-like tuteurs or almost invisible grids and rings.
They respond well to pruning, as this process may encourage your plant to bloom again in autumn. After the first bloom in spring, you can cut the stems to the basal rosette of leaves. Spoil your Lisianthus with regular irrigation, weeding, and nutrient-rich fertilizer. You should have new flowers for your autumn bouquets by mid-September.
Lisianthus plants do not attract pests very often. The most common pests of Lisianthus plants are fungus gnats larvae that like to feed on their roots. These parasites can damage the plants irreversibly. Aphids, leaf miners, whiteflies, and thrips can also bother Lisianthus plants. If you notice any infestation sign, you can treat your plant with insecticidal soap.
Watering Lisianthus Plants
Although it will seem a little tricky at first, watering Lisianthus plants can be a simple process. They are susceptible to fungal diseases, so you should avoid over-watering them. But then, these plants are not very tolerant of drought and they will show it through unhealthy bloomings or weak stems and leaves.
During their growing season, Lisianthus plants need frequent watering to produce lovely and healthy flowers. They prefer constant damp soil, but it is best to reduce watering when the plants are dormant. Make sure you always check the soil before the next watering to avoid over-watering your plant. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it is the perfect time for watering.
These plants will benefit from a drip irrigation system, as this will provide them with enough water to keep them in excellent shape. When growing them indoors, they require regular misting to maintain the ideal humidity levels.
Propagating Lisianthus Plants
Lisianthus plants are still new to the growing-in-pot world and few gardeners have experience propagating them. Most growers do not keep Lisianthus plants from one season to another. However, you can propagate them from seeds or from young plants’ stem cuttings without any problems .
Although you might be tempted to grow them from seeds, it is better to look for a nursery-grown specimen that already has some flower buds or developed bloomings.
When growing these plants from seeds, it will take a long time for them to reach maturity and bloom. However, if you are a patient gardener, you can keep them in a greenhouse. Keep in mind that they need strict conditions to grow healthy and produce many beautiful flowers.
When propagating Lisianthus from seeds, you need to choose their growing environment carefully. Plant them in a terracotta pot and add a rich and well-draining potting soil. You should water them regularly to maintain the soil damp. The seeds will germinate only in direct sunlight and warm temperatures between 71.6 and 77 ° F (22-25 °C). It is better to keep the seeds indoors or in a greenhouse to protect them from wind, rain, or other extreme natural factors.
To propagate your Lisianthus through stem cuttings, you need to use stem tips. The ideal time to propagate through cuttings is early spring. Look for stems that have healthy heaves and cut the first 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) with a clean and sharp knife. Dip the cutting into a rooting hormone then plant it into fresh potting soil. Place your cutting in a bright location and water it regularly. Keep an open mind if your cutting will not develop new roots, as this is an unknown territory even for expert gardeners.
There is always a place for Lisianthus plants in your garden or home. Their flowers are truly special which is why many garderes love them. They are so soft-looking and come in so many colorful varieties that people often forget about their lack of fragrance specific to other flowering plants. Lisianthus plants are very easy to grow as an annual plant if proper environmental conditions are provided.
Lisianthus plants require bright light if you grow them indoors as well as outdoors. They thrive in warm and cozy temperatures, a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter, and regular watering. These plants make an excellent ornamental companion for daily activities or any special events, so we recommend you to give them a chance to win your heart.