Eustoma (Lisianthus): growing from seeds, planting and care at home
The eustoma plant (Eustoma), also called lisianthus (Lisianthus - “bitter flower”), or “Texas bell”, or “Irish rose”, or “Japanese rose”, is a member of the Gentian family. The name eustoma from Latin literally translates as “beautiful mouth”, but there is another more literary version - “beautifully speaking”. Such a plant comes from Mexico, from the islands of the Caribbean, and also from the northern part of South America and from the south of North America.
There is a legend among the American Indians, which tells us that for the first time, lisianthus bloomed on the grave, where an innocent girl who was killed by the spirit of the war because she did not want to marry him was buried. In Europe, lisianthus ended up thanks to Patrick Brown, who was an Irish botanist and physician. At flower growers, eustoma is very popular and is grown for cutting. The fact is that freshly cut flowers of such a plant in water can stand for a very long time (up to 20 days). As an indoor flower, eustoma began to be cultivated only in the nineties of the twentieth century.
Short description of growing
- Landing. Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in the last days of February or the first of March. Seedlings are transplanted into the open ground 3 months after the seedlings appear.
- Bloom. From mid to late summer.
- Illumination. Penumbra or shadow.
- Priming. Loose, dry, light and well permeable to water and air. Also, the soil should be neutral.
- Watering. Humidify the earth should be systematic, but scarce. A drip method of watering is best suited for eustoma.
- Fertilizer. Regularly once every 2 weeks, a complex mineral fertilizer is applied to the soil.
- Breeding. Growing from seeds.
- Pests. Thrips, whiteflies, spider mites and slugs.
- Diseases. False gray rot, fusariosis, late blight, powdery mildew, root rot and tobacco mosaic virus.
Features of eustoma
Powerful stems of eustoma reach about 100 cm in height, but they look very elegant. The branching of the stem begins in the middle, in this regard, cutting one branch, you will have a real bouquet in your hands, numbering up to 35 buds, the opening of which takes place alternately. Matte gray or pale gray leaf plates, as if made of wax, have a lanceolate-oval shape. The flower has a calyx deep and large, funnel-shaped. Non-double or double flowers in diameter reach from 50 to 80 mm, they are painted in lilac, purple, pink or white. In this case, the flowers can be plain or have a contrasting border. The half-opened bud of lisianthus is outwardly similar to a rose, and after it has fully blossomed, it resembles a terry poppy.
Under natural conditions, the eustoma is a biennial, but in gardening it is usually cultivated as an annual. As a perennial, such a flower is grown only at room conditions. In the garden, it can be cultivated as an annual or biennial.
The basic rules for the cultivation of lisianthus:
- The plant needs to provide diffused but bright light.
- It grows best in humus from peat and wood bark (1: 1).
- Only the seed method is used for propagation, because the root system of the bush is very fragile and will not tolerate division, and the roots do not appear in cuttings.
- Watering is carried out only when the soil mixture dries in depth by 20 mm.
- It is impossible to transplant lisianthus when grown indoors. The fact is that in this case he is considered a perennial only conditionally, since his tender roots will not be able to transfer the transplant.
- The most lush flowering of indoor lisianthus is observed in a cool and well-ventilated room.
Growing eustoma from seeds
To grow lisianthus indoors, it will take quite a lot of time and patience. But if you master this process, you can turn growing eustoma from seeds into a profitable business, since every year it is gaining more and more popularity among gardeners and gardeners.
Difficulties can begin already at the time of sowing, since the seeds of this plant are very small (in 1 g there are up to 23 thousand). Seeds sold in specialized stores undergo special processing, which increases their germination capacity. In this regard, out of 100 such seeds, shoots give about 60. If seedlings are grown for planting in open ground, then the seeds are sown in February – March, then in this case the bushes will bloom in July – August. The soil mixture for sowing is used the same as for other flowering plants, namely: disinfected, with a pH of 6–7 and a low nitrogen content. Fill the container with a moist substrate and distribute the seeds evenly on its surface, you do not need to sprinkle them with a layer of earth, but simply gently press with your hand. Cover the container with glass (film) on top, while there should be slots so that air can circulate. Also, crops will need additional illumination with fluorescent lamps for 10-12 hours a day. So that the seeds germinate, they are provided with a temperature of at least 14 degrees at night and at least 20 degrees in the daytime. Water the crops from the spray gun, but only if necessary. The first time you can not water, because the evaporated moisture will be enough for the seeds.
If you do everything right, then the first seedlings will appear in about 15 days, immediately after that the glass is completely removed, and the seedlings are systematically moistened from the sprayer with Fitosporin solution. After the seedlings have formed several pairs of leaf blades (after about 6 weeks), they are dived into separate pots, in diameter reaching from 40 to 50 mm. After 3 months, the bushes are transplanted into the garden, and they are taken along with a lump of land.
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Eustoma at home
If you want Lisianthus to please you with its flowering in winter, then the seeds should be sown between July and September. Take a not very large container and fill it with moistened soil mixture, which includes peat and sand. Spread the seeds evenly over its surface. The container is covered with glass or film on top and cleaned in a warm (from 19 to 22 degrees) and well-lit place. If necessary, moisten the crops from the spray gun, and after 15–20 days the first seedlings will appear.
After the seedlings form the first pair of real leaf plates, the frequency of irrigation is reduced and carried out only when the surface of the substrate dries well. The grown seedlings are watered only in the morning, because the moisture remaining on the night on the foliage can cause the development of the “black leg” disease. After the seedlings form 2 pairs of real leaf plates, they are dived into individual pots. The bushes will bloom in January or February.
Light and temperature
It is quite difficult to grow lisianthus in room conditions, since it needs fresh air and diffused bright light. Best of all, the flower will grow on a windowsill of eastern or western orientation, and the room should be chosen one that can be systematically ventilated to maintain an air temperature of 19 to 22 degrees, optimal for eustoma.
Water the flower sparingly, using soft and well-settled water. Moisturize the soil mixture in the pot only after its top layer dries. Make sure that the earthen lump in the container does not dry out, but also stagnation of moisture in the root system should not be allowed. It is impossible to moisten foliage from the spray gun, because of this, various diseases can affect it.
During the formation of buds and during the growing season, the bush is fed with a solution of liquid complex fertilizer (per 1 bucket of water from 10 to 15 ml).
Also, do not forget to timely pick off the flowers that started to fade. If everything is done correctly, then after 90-100 days the bush will bloom again.
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Outdoor planting and care
If you decide to grow lisianthus in the garden, then sow the seeds in December – January. In this case, the bushes will bloom in June – July. To do this, take 50 ml glasses and fill them with a substrate for violets. From 3 to 5 seeds are laid on its surface, and they are not sprinkled, but only slightly pressed into the soil mixture. Be sure to cover the cups with a film (glass) from above to create greenhouse conditions for crops. Lift the shelter regularly once every 1.5 weeks to remove condensation from it and ventilate the crops. Best of all, seedlings appear at a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees, and they should appear after a fortnight.
During the first 2 months, the bushes will need additional lighting. However, even with enough light, seedlings still grow extremely slowly. In the last February days, seedlings are transferred to a well-lit windowsill.
Preventive treatment of seedlings from diseases is carried out with a solution of Fundazole (for 1 liter of water 1 tsp). And to accelerate growth, the bushes are treated with a solution of Epin or Zircon. After 4-6 weeks after the appearance of seedlings, when they develop into a pair of real leaf plates, they should be cut into separate pots of 3-5 pieces, while planting a plant on the lower leaves is planted in a substrate. Then the bushes are watered and a plastic bag is put on top of the pots to create the conditions of the greenhouse. After 7 days, the plants should increase a couple of times. In the last days of February or the first - March, plant the seedlings in larger pots, in diameter reaching 80 mm, by transshipment along with a lump of earth. Do not forget to make a drainage layer at the bottom of each pot. Further, seedlings will actively grow and develop.
It is necessary to plant the grown seedlings in the open ground in mid-May, at which time spring return frosts should be left behind. A suitable place for landing is chosen well-lit (the light must be diffused), which has reliable protection against drafts. Soil is needed well-drained. Seedlings are planted on a cloudy day or in the evening.
Landing pits are made in the prepared soil, which must be shed with water. When the liquid is absorbed, a seedling is planted into it by transshipment, and try not to destroy the earthen lump. Lysianthus grows in open ground with a bush, in connection with this, when planting, the distance between plants should be from 10 to 15 centimeters. The first 15–20 days, the bushes should be covered with cut plastic bottles or glass jars, and they should not be watered at this time. How to water a plant is described in detail at the beginning of the article, do not forget only that eustoma can be harmful, as a lack of moisture, and stagnation of water in the roots.
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After 6-8 leaf plates are formed on the shoot, pinch its upper part, in this case the bushes will be more magnificent. After about 30 days after planting, when the flowers have fully taken root, they are fed with a solution of mineral fertilizer. In this case, you can use Plantafol.
In June, the flowers are treated with Plantafol solution growth, which contains a lot of nitrogen, and in July – August - Plantafol budding. Also, a solution of Kemir funds is suitable for feeding, it is poured directly under the root of the eustoma.Just remember that the concentration of nutrient solutions should be slightly less than what the manufacturer recommends (see packaging).
The flowering time of lisianthus is due to when exactly you sowed the seeds. If the seeds were sown in the last days of November or the first - in December, then the bushes will bloom in the first half of July (it also depends on the weather in spring). Bushes grown from seeds sown in mid-January, as a rule, begin to bloom in August. Flowering lasts continuously until October, after some flowers fade, others open. Lisianthus is not afraid of early frosts, only when the temperature drops to minus 10 degrees and snow falls, flowering stops. In the event that the flowering ended too early, it is recommended to cut off all wilted flowers, and maybe after about a month and a half the bushes will bloom again magnificent.
Diseases and pests
Slugs, spider mites, aphids and whiteflies can settle on such a plant. To save flowers from such pests, use the following tools: Fitoverm, Confidor, Aktara or Actellik.
Flowers can get sick with Fusarium, powdery mildew or gray rot to help them, resort to preventive treatments with a solution of Fundazole, you can also use the drug Ridomil Gold.
Care after flowering
After the indoor lysianthus fades, its stems are shortened to two or three internodes, and the bush itself is stored in a room with a temperature of 10 to 15 degrees. The plant is watered sparingly and infrequently during dormancy; fertilizers are not applied to the soil mixture. When young shoots appear in spring, they replace the substrate with a new one. Resume regular watering and begin to care for the flower as usual.
To make the garden lisianthus bloom longer, they dig it out and, together with the garden soil, plant it in a pot, which is placed on the balcony or window sill. Take care of the bush as usual, and it will bloom for a while. However, someday it will fade anyway. Take away all wilted flowers, and when the foliage of the plant turns yellow, they do the same with garden lisianthus as they do with indoor, namely: shorten its stems to 2-3 internodes and put the bush in a well-ventilated cool room, watering is greatly reduced. There he will stand until spring.
Types and varieties of eustoma with photos and names
Despite the fact that there are approximately 60 species of lisianthus in nature, only Russell eustoma (Eustoma Russelianus) is grown under indoor conditions, and only large-flowered eustoma (Eustoma Grandiflorum) is cultivated in open ground. Some gardeners believe that these plants belong to the same species.
All types and varieties of lisianthus can be divided according to their intended purpose. There are both undersized lisianthus (height not more than 0.45 m), and vigorous. At the same time, tall varieties are most often cultivated in open ground and used for cutting, and low-growing ones are most often grown as balcony or indoor plants.
Tall garden eustoma for cutting
- Aurora. The bush reaches a height of 0.9–1.2 m, double flowers are painted in white, pink, blue or blue. This plant blooms 15–20 days earlier than the other varieties.
- Echo. The height of the spreading stems is up to 0.7 m, large flowers can be painted in different colors (11 color variations), and there are two-tone and one-color ones. Flowering early.
- Heidi. The bush has a height of about 0.9 m, it blooms magnificently with simple flowers. There are 15 color variations of the color of flowers.
- Flamenco. The height of the plant varies from 0.9 to 1.2 m, powerful stems adorn simple, but very large (diameter about 80 mm) flowers, which can be painted in various shades. This variety is good because it is not capricious.
Low-growing varieties of eustoma for growing in an apartment
- Mermaid. Shrubs from 12 to 15 centimeters high are decorated with simple flowers, in diameter reaching about 60 mm, they are painted in blue, purple, white or pink. The plant is branched, so it does not need a pinch.
- Littlebell. The height of the bush is about 15 centimeters, small simple flowers of a funnel-shaped form are painted in various color shades. A pinch is not needed.
- Fidelity. The height of the plant is about 20 centimeters. On the peduncle, many simple, not very large flowers are arranged in a spiral, they are painted white.
- Florida Pink. Pink simple flowers form a lined bouquet on a bush.
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