The plant eustoma (Eustoma), also called lisianthus (Lisianthus - "bitter flower"), or "Texas bell", or "Irish rose", or "Japanese rose", is a representative of the gentian family. The name eustoma literally translates from Latin as "beautiful mouth", but there is another more literary version - "beautifully speaking". This 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 that for the first time Lisianthus bloomed on the grave where an innocent girl was buried, who was killed by the spirit of war because she did not want to marry him. Lisianthus ended up in Europe thanks to Patrick Brown, who was an Irish botanist and physician. Eustoma is very popular among flower growers 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.
Powerful stems of eustoma reach a height of about 100 cm, but they look very elegant. The branching of the stem begins from the middle, in this regard, having cut off one branch, you will have a real bouquet in your hands, numbering up to 35 buds, the opening of which occurs alternately. Matte gray or pale gray leaf plates, as if made of wax, have a lanceolate-oval shape. The flower has a deep and large calyx, funnel-shaped. Non-double or double flowers reach from 50 to 80 mm in diameter, they are painted in lilac, purple, pink or white. In this case, the flowers can be monochromatic or have a contrasting border. The half-open bud of Lisianthus is outwardly similar to a rose, and after it has bloomed completely, it resembles a terry poppy.
Under natural conditions, eustoma is a biennial, but in horticulture it is usually cultivated as an annual. As a perennial, such a flower is grown only in indoor conditions. In the garden, it can be cultivated as an annual or biennial.
Basic rules for the cultivation of lisianthus:
Growing lisianthus indoors takes a lot of time and patience. But if you master this process, you can turn the cultivation of eustoma from seeds into a profitable business, since every year it is gaining more and more popularity among both flower growers and gardeners.
Difficulties can begin already during sowing, since the seeds of this plant are very small (there are up to 23 thousand of them in 1 g). The seeds sold in specialized stores undergo special processing, which increases their germination. In this regard, out of 100 such seeds, seedlings give about 60. If the 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 just lightly press down with your hand. Cover the container on top with glass (film), while there should be cracks left so that air can circulate. Also, crops will need additional illumination with fluorescent lamps for 10-12 hours a day. In order for the seeds to germinate, they are provided with a temperature of at least 14 degrees at night and at least 20 degrees during the day. Water the crops from a spray bottle, but only if necessary. The first time watering can not be carried out, because the evaporated moisture will be enough for the seeds.
If you do everything correctly, then the first seedlings will appear in about 15 days, immediately after that the glass is removed completely, and the seedlings are systematically moistened from the sprayer with Fitosporin solution. After the seedlings have formed several pairs of leaf plates (after about 6 weeks), they are picked into separate pots, reaching from 40 to 50 mm in diameter. After 3 months, the bushes are transplanted into the garden, and they are taken along with a lump of earth.
Eustoma from "A" to "Z" - the complete guide to growing!
If you want Lisianthus to delight you with its winter bloom, then the seeds should be sown between July and September. Take a small container and fill it with moistened soil mixture, which includes peat and sand. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface. The container is covered with glass or film on top and removed to a warm (from 19 to 22 degrees) and well-lit place. If necessary, moisten the crops with a spray bottle, and after 15–20 days the first seedlings will appear.
After the first pair of true leaf plates is formed at the seedlings, the frequency of watering is reduced and they are carried out only when the surface of the substrate dries well. The grown seedlings are watered only in the morning, because moisture remaining on the foliage overnight can cause the development of the "black leg" disease. After the seedlings have formed 2 pairs of true leaf plates, they are picked into individual pots. Bushes will bloom in January or February.
Growing lisianthus indoors is quite difficult, as it needs fresh air and diffused bright light. Best of all, the flower will grow on an east or west windowsill, and a room should be chosen that can be systematically ventilated to maintain an air temperature of 19 to 22 degrees, which is optimal for eustoma.
Water the flower sparingly, using soft and well-settled water. Moisten the soil mixture in the pot only after its top layer dries out. Make sure that the earthen lump in the container does not dry out, but also moisture stagnation in the root system should not be allowed. It is impossible to moisten the foliage from the spray bottle, as because of this it can be affected by various diseases.
During the formation of buds and during the growing season, the bush is fed with a solution of liquid complex fertilizer (for 1 bucket of water from 10 to 15 ml).
Also, do not forget to promptly cut off the flowers that have begun to fade. If everything is done correctly, then after 90-100 days the bush will bloom again.
EUSTOMA (LYSIANTUS) -My experience and my growing advice.
If you decide to grow lisianthus in your garden, then sow the seeds in December – January. In this case, the bushes will bloom in June – July. To do this, take 50 ml cups and fill them with violet substrate. From 3 to 5 seeds are spread on its surface, and they are not sprinkled, but only slightly pressed into the soil mixture. Be sure to cover the cups with foil (glass) on top to create greenhouse conditions for crops. Raise 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 half a month.
For the first 2 months, the bushes will need additional lighting. However, even with enough light, seedlings still grow extremely slowly. In the last days of February, the seedlings are transferred to a well-lit windowsill.
Preventive treatment of seedlings from diseases is carried out with a solution of Fundazol (1 tsp for 1 liter of water). And to accelerate growth, the bushes are treated with a solution of Epin or Zircon. 4–6 weeks after the appearance of the seedlings, when a pair of true leaf plates develop on them, they should be cut into separate pots, 3-5 pieces each, while the plants are planted in the substrate along the lower leaves. Next, the bushes are watered and a plastic bag is put on top of the pots to create greenhouse conditions. After 7 days, the plants should grow a couple of times. In the last days of February or the first days of March, plant the seedlings in larger pots, reaching 80 mm in diameter, by transferring them together with a lump of earth. Do not forget to make a drainage layer at the bottom of each pot. Further, the seedlings will actively grow and develop.
It is necessary to plant grown seedlings in open ground in mid-May, at which time return spring frosts should be left behind. A suitable place for planting is chosen well-lit (the light should be diffused), which has reliable protection from drafts. The soil needs to be well drained. Seedlings are planted on a cloudy day or in the evening.
Planting holes are made in the prepared soil, which must be spilled with water. When the liquid is absorbed, a seedling is planted into it by transshipment, and try to prevent the earth lump from collapsing. Lisianthus grows in open ground as a bush, in this regard, when planting, the distance between plants should be from 10 to 15 centimeters. For the first 15–20 days, the bushes should be covered with cut plastic bottles or glass jars, and they do not need to 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, both a lack of moisture and stagnation of water in the roots.
EUSTOMA WILL DO 100% IF YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS / Garden Guide
After 6-8 leaf plates are formed on the shoot, pinch its upper part, in this case the bushes will be more lush. After about 30 days after planting, when the flowers have completely taken root, they are fed with a solution of mineral fertilizer. In this case, you can use Plantafol.
In June, flowers are treated with a solution of Plantafol growth, which contains a lot of nitrogen, and in July-August with Plantafol, budding. Also, a solution of Kemir's product 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 the manufacturer recommends (look on the package).
The flowering time of Lisianthus is related 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 usually begin to bloom in August. Flowering lasts continuously until October, after some flowers wither, 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 is over too early, it is recommended to cut off all the wilted flowers, and maybe after about a month and a half the bushes will bloom again magnificently.
Slugs, spider mites, aphids and whiteflies can settle on such a plant. To save flowers from such pests, the following means are used: Fitoverm, Confidor, Aktara or Aktellik.
Flowers can get sick with fusarium, powdery mildew or gray mold, to help them, they resort to preventive treatments with Fundazole solution, you can also use Ridomil Gold.
After the indoor lisianthus has faded, 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. Watering the plant during the dormant period is scarce and infrequent, fertilizers are not applied to the soil mixture. When young shoots appear in spring, the substrate is replaced with a new one. Resume regular watering and start tending the flower as usual.
In order for the garden lisianthus to bloom longer, it is dug up and, together with the garden soil, is planted in a pot, which is placed on the balcony or windowsill. Take care of the bush as usual and it will bloom for a while. However, someday it will still fade. Remove all wilted flowers, and when the foliage of the plant turns yellow, do the same with garden lisianthus as with indoor lisianthus, namely: shorten its stems to 2-3 internodes and remove the bush in a well-ventilated cool room, watering is greatly reduced. There he will stand until spring.
Despite the fact that there are about 60 species of lisianthus in nature, only Russell's eustoma (Eustoma Russelianus) is grown indoors, and only large-flowered eustoma (Eustoma Grandiflorum) is cultivated in the open field. Some growers 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 no 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 undersized varieties are most often grown as balcony or indoor plants.
A graceful plant up to a meter tall blooms in early summer and can bloom until autumn. With good care, flowering will continue until frost. Up to 35 double or simple purple, lilac, pink or white flowers can form on one bush. They do not open all at once, but gradually, so the eustoma flowering seems to be continuous.
In gardens, eustoma (lisianthus) is grown as an annual plant. If the bush is dug up and kept at home, the next year it can be planted again in the flowerbed, however, the flowering will no longer be so lush.
In nature, eustoma is a biennial plant. The homeland of the flower is the islands of the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and southern North America.
Perennial lisianthus can only be at home when grown in a pot.
Growing eustoma requires efforts from the grower. It is a thermophilic plant that will grow and bloom well only under favorable conditions.
For breeding, 2 methods can be used, since perennial eustoma is not a bulbous culture:
But the latter method rarely gives a good result, since cuttings are difficult to accept. When propagated by seeds, the time to start flowering depends on when the planting was carried out. For flowering to begin in June, the seeds must be planted in November. With late planting (in February), the eustoma will bloom in early September.
When planting seeds in spring, the plant will not have time to bloom.
Container planting is capable of extending the life of flowers. Flowers planted in containers can be taken out into the street in the warm season, and in cold weather they can be brought into the room again. At the same time, the plant will continue to bloom, albeit less abundantly. The root system saved in this way can be used for the next year. But the bloom will not be as lush.
Planting and caring for perennial eustoma, which is planned to be grown in pots, should be carried out in such a way that light containers are selected. It is advisable to use clay pots, which will protect the root system from overheating.
Complex mineral fertilizers are necessary for eustoma as a top dressing. You can bring them in half a month or a month after planting seedlings.
Seedlings grown from seeds are planted in a place where there is enough sunlight, but there is no baking sunlight. Perennial eustoma requires planting and care to take place without excessive soil moisture.
Very fragile roots do not tolerate both frequent replanting and excessive moisture. When the air temperature drops, watering is reduced.
If there is a need to transplant a plant, then it is carried out by transshipment, trying to preserve a clod of earth in which the eustoma originally grew.
In order for the eustoma to grow and bloom well, it is necessary to withstand certain soil requirements.
She must be:
In terms of composition, a mixture of one part of peat and one part of humus or high-quality black soil is suitable for a flower. It is impossible to fill the soil, otherwise the roots of the perennial eustoma, as in the photo, may rot.
It is necessary to transplant eustoma with the utmost care for the roots.
The milder the conditions of detention, the better the flower will grow, and the more abundantly it will bloom. It is desirable that the daytime temperature is between 20 and 25 ºС. And at night - not lower than 15 ºС. If the eustoma is perennial, the planting and care of which is carried out with the winter indoors, suitable conditions must be created.
At home, in nature, lisianthus is a biennial plant, but when grown outdoors it is used as an annual, since its delicate root system does not withstand winter cold. This is not surprising if you remember the origin of the flower - there is no frost in its homeland. Although the efforts of scientists have bred varieties that are resistant to lower temperatures, nevertheless, the geography of year-round cultivation of eustoma in the garden in our country is limited (in winter, the air temperature should be at least + 10 ° C).
At home, eustoma can be cultivated for more than one year, but according to reviews of amateur flower growers, even under favorable circumstances, the plant degenerates in two years and does not give the expected flowering. Therefore, often in the form of indoor flowers, Lisianthuses are grown for one year and are thrown away after flowering.
There are many varieties of eustoma seeds on sale for every taste
Seeds of this flower are sold almost always with the marking "annual". If you want to extend the life of a plant planted in open ground, with the approach of frost, you need to dig it up entirely and store it at home. With proper care, it is likely that in the spring the eustoma will start to grow and please with flowers for another season.
Flowers from seeds have become my hobby relatively recently, I try to plant seeds. I drew attention to eustoma last year. I planted it in February and only after a couple of months sprouts grew.
This is not the first year I have grown them in my garden. Friends, coming to me, do not remain indifferent to the beauty of this plant.
A friend several years ago recommended that I grow Eustoma flowers. I decided to plant it on the advice. In the first year, it grew poorly, many inflorescences opened, I was even disappointed. But in the second year, the flower made me happy - it bloomed beautifully.
In order for eustoma flowers to grow and delight others, a lot of effort and patience should be applied. It should be remembered that any effort is rewarded: if you follow all the above instructions for planting, growing and caring for Lisianthus bushes, this plant will definitely bloom with beautiful flowers, decorate any garden plot for a long time.
I share with you some small tricks of gardeners and gardeners))