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 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 two weeks or longer.
Despite the fact that this plant has the common name lisianthus, it has a long history of botanical name changes. Whatever name it goes by, the blooms of lisianthus are truly what this plant is all about. They come in a range of colors: white, blue, purple, and pink as well as bicolor combinations of those hues. The flowers also come in a single form, with simply one ring of petals around the center, or a double form with several rows of petals.
Lisianthus is native to ditches and grasslands in a few of the western states. To survive in these harsh environments, this plant has very thick, waxy foliage to help prevent it from drying out. This also gives a pretty bluish-green cast to the foliage that accents the eye-catching blooms.
Lisianthus Care Must-Knows
When growing lisianthus, plan on investing some time in it. This plant 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's challenging to sow just a few plants at a time.
Because 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. Some newer varieties are bred to be dwarf, so much better for a home garden setting. When selecting blooms for cut flowers, make sure to pick stems that are nearly, but not quite fully open. Buds that are too small and tight won't open properly on their own.
More Varieties of Lisianthus
This variety of Eustoma offers beautiful violet-purple flowers on compact, 10-inch-tall plants that don't require staking.
Eustoma 'Forever White' is an award-winning selection with pure-white flowers on 10-inch-tall plants.
Lisianthus Companion Plants
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.
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.
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.