Lisianthus is large gentian-like bell-shaped flowers with flaring pale purple petal-like lobes. They bloom in summer from the upper leaf axils. The Lisianthus has a long vase life which means that it will retain its beauty after being cut for many days making it ideal for flower arrangements. This is a powerful advantage as it can be displayed both indoors and outdoors.
Lisianthus is easy to grow from seed, but a little difficult to transplant at the end of flowering, as its root system is not very deep or extensive which makes it necessary for them to develop a strong fibrous root system before transplanting. The Lisianthus plant can be grown in seedling trays, but when the seedlings are well developed, they are transplanted into bigger pots or straight outside depending on their size.
With good soil conditions, Lisianthus will bloom throughout the summer by providing dead-heading. The Lisianthus plants should be planted in an area that contains the full sun, with well-drained soil, and in areas that do not receive late spring or early summer water. If the plants are watered at this time it will cause them to be dense and spindly and flowers will fail to set on new growth. Lisianthus should also be prevented from being exposed to hot afternoon sun, as the buds will fall off or the petals will discolor. The plant also needs to be watered regularly during the summer, but not too much as it can cause root rot if the roots are soaked or left in water for long periods of time.
This plant is native to South America and has many common names including Prairie Gentian, Texas bluebell, Tulip Gentian, Bluebells, and Lira de San Pedro. It is a summer-blooming annual plant which means it typically flowers from July to September.
The Lisianthus prefers full sun but can also grow in a partial shade environment. This means that the flower will need at least six hours of direct sunlight a day for optimum growth. Lisianthus are moderately drought-tolerant meaning that they will need water but not necessarily daily or even weekly, depending on where it is planted.
When planting them in soil, the Lisianthus does best in an area with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 which is slightly acidic to neutral. It can grow well in loamy or sandy soil and does not require a lot of fertilizing since it is native to South America. However, if the plant does get lots of fertilizer toxicity can occur which can result in leaf loss and discoloration. It also should be planted in soil that drains well so it doesn't get waterlogged easily.