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Houseplants - lisianthus

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Scientific Name: Eustoma grandiflorum

Lisianthus common name comes from the Greek words ”Lysis” (release, detachment) and ”Anthem” (flower).

Familiee: Gentianaceae

Origin: Mexico, Central and South American continent.

Appearance and presentation: lisianthus is grown for cut flowers, mixing in compositions or is grown in pots as houseplants.

It is a herbaceous annual that can grow up to 50-60 cm and has oval slightly sharp juicy bluish green leaves. It is especially loved for its long lasting flowers and large variety of colors and combinations of colors dominated by white, pink, yellow and many shades of purple.
Flower itself consists of four large petals which can be in one color or a combination of two, one of them is frequently white. There are hybrids with double flowers, which are more attractive than common varieties.

Growing / care tips: initially cultivated for cut flowers, lisianthus was grown as potted plant after 1980. An important thing to be mentioned from the beginning is that it’s cultivation is tricky.
Light: To flourish, it needs several hours of morning sun, absence or insufficient light reduces substantially the number and quality of flowering buds.
The average temperature for cultivation is between 68-75 F/ 20- 24 C, out of these limits plant growing may stagnate or may wilt.
Watering is one of the conditions on which lisianthus has strict demands. Since the formation of the first two pairs of leaves, plants require regular and heavy watering so the ground is never left dry.
Lisianthus ideal substrate should contain rich garden soil or a mixture of peat and vermiculite. Substrate porosity is an imperative factor for ensuring proper drainage, it should supply enough water but not allow stagnation of water in root zone.
Another issue on which lisianthus has highest demands is fertilising. Unlike most houseplants, it requires fertilizer a few weeks from seed germination, immediately after the occurrence of the two pairs of leaves. Fertilization will be done with low doses of fertilizer applied weekly.

Propagation is done by seeds, in February and / or March, in conditions of heat and high humidity. Seedlings with at least two pairs of leaves are transplanted into broad but shallow pots. For planting in the garden, prick the seedlings in May.
Blooming period usually occurs between early July and October, indoor plants may be shifted, depending on sowing time and conditions of care provided.

Special tip: It is important to provide a nearly neutral pH substrate, pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0, too acidic soil can bring zinc toxicity and can damage plant roots.

Other species: E.exaltatum

Variety of species E.grandiflorum: Heidi blue and white, Forever Blue, Aloha Deep Red, White with pink rim.

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