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Lisianthus, often favored by floral designers when an elegant flower is needed for an arrangement, it is the epitome of a classy, versatile flower. The opulent, ruffled petals and elegant buds come  in many colors. The delicate-looking blooms are known for not only their beauty, but also their ability to hold up as a cut flower in a vase for up to 2 weeks or longer.

Despite the fact that this plant goes by the name Lisianthus, there is much discussion as to whether or not it has ever been included in that genus. Lisianthus has a storied past of botanical name changes and arguments over how it came to be.  

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1 to 3 feet


1 foot

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Colorful Combinations

Given the overall class and elegance these blooms exude, it's surprising that they native to ditches and grasslands in a few of the western states.  Because they are accustomed to this harsh environment, they have very thick, waxy foliage to help prevent them from drying out. This also gives them a nice bluish-green cast to the foliage that accents the eye-catching blooms.

The blooms of lisianthus are truly what this plant is all about. One of the main things that sets these flowers apart from their more generic counterparts is that, they come in a range of colors: white, blue, purple, and pink as well as bicolor combinations of those hues. The colors  also come in a single form, with simply one row of petals, or a double form with several rows of petals.  

Check out our perfect pairing for a two-color garden with lisianthus.

Lisianthus Care Must-Knows

As a cut flower, the single flowered varieties are fairly susceptible to damage in transit, especially if the blooms are already fairly open.  While the double blooms are a little better off, the petals can still be damaged pretty easily, especially the white varieties. So be sure to handle them with care. When selecting blooms, make sure to pick stems that are fairly far along, but not quite fully open.  Buds that are too small and tight won't open properly on their own. 

When growing lisianthus, plan on investing some time in the crop.  Lisianthus can take a very long time to grow from seed, sometimes as long as 15-20 months from the time of sowing to bloom. The seed of this plant is also so fine and dust-like that it also makes it hard to sow just a few plants at a time. As many of these varieties have been developed for cut flowers, some of these plants will require staking to make sure that they don't flop.  More recently, there have been varieties brought to market that are dwarf and much better for a home garden setting.

Learn how to stake and train lisianthus in your garden.

More Varieties of Lisianthus

'Balboa White' lisianthus

Eustoma 'Balboa White' offers double white blooms on 3-foot-tall plants.

'Forever Blue' lisianthus

This variety of Eustoma offers beautiful violet-purple flowers on compact, 10-inch-tall plants that don't require staking.

'Forever White' lisianthus

Eustoma 'Forever White' is an award-winning selection with pure-white flowers on 10-inch-tall plants.

'Lisa Pink' lisianthus

This Eustoma selection offers single pink blooms on compact, 8-inch-tall plants.

Plant Lisianthus With:

Ornamental Pepper
Heat up your garden with ornamental peppers! Much like hot peppers you would grow in the veggie garden, ornamental peppers produce colorful little fruits that are round or pointed. But these are so attractive in their own right that they can be grown just for show -- not eating. The peppers are indeed edible, but usually their flavor is lacking compared to peppers grown for the table.Depending on the variety, the peppers appear in shades of white, purple, red, orange, and yellow -- often with multiple colors on the same plant. They like rich, well-drained soil that is evenly moist.Shown above: Calico pepper
Annual vinca
You've gotta love annual vinca -- it really delivers. It will tolerate a wide variety of conditions and still keep it up with almost unreal-looking, glossy green flowers and pretty pink, lavender, or red flowers that look like tiny parasols.Whether the summer is dry or wet, hot or cold, vinca plugs along unfazed. It makes a great container plant. Or plant it in a bed or border, grouping at least eight or more together for best effect.Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Vinca withstands drought but does best with moderate moisture. Fertilize occasionally. Like impatiens, this plant tends to be "self-cleaning" and needs little deadheading.Shown above: Pretty in Pink vinca
Want fast color for just pennies? Plant zinnias! A packet of seeds will fill an area with gorgeous flowers in an amazing array of shapes and colors -- even green! And it will happen in just weeks. There are dwarf types of zinnias, tall types, quill-leaf cactus types, spider types, multicolor, special seed blends for cutting, special blends for attracting butterflies, and more.Zinnias are so highly attractive to butterflies that you can count on having these fluttering guests dining in your garden every afternoon. But to attract the most, plant lots of tall, red or hot pink zinnias in a large patch. 'Big Red' is especially nice for this, and the flowers are outstanding, excellent for cutting. Zinnias grow quickly from seed sown right in the ground and do best in full sun with dry to well-drained soil.
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