Elegant Flowering Lisianthus Plants
Growing lisianthus plants can adds elegant, upright color to the summer garden in all USDA hardiness zones. Native to North America, the plants was famed as a wildflower of the open prairie, proving notoriously difficult to cultivate. Advances in cultivation and genetic technology allowed for garden versions of the pretty lisianthus to be developed. Despite a short blooming season, the lisianthus is beloved for its unusual flowers and striking colors. Typically lavender, vibrant purple, or fuchsia, the flower petals form an overlapping, slightly conical shape. Some varieties feature a double layer of petals and greatly resemble roses. They are popular with florists as a filler flower and are often a beautiful and usually less expensive choice for a bouquet than roses. Their striking color and silky petals have also helped the prairie gentian gain much appreciation and use in wedding bouquets and centerpieces.
Lisianthus plants love the sun, and should be grown in direct or dappled sunlight. Though plants can be potted and kept indoors, they still require 4-8 hours of light per day in order to thrive. Warmer climates with mild winters are preferable, though the plants can be moved to a sunny spot indoors if grown in colder weather. Soil should be kept moist and damp but not soaked, and the lisianthus require excellent drainage to avoid root damage. Some gardeners recommend a thick mulch to help the plant retain the required amount of water.