Lisianthus Flower: Grow, Care, and Planting Guide

6 Min Read

Lisianthus is the quintessential elegant, multipurpose flower; floral designers typically turn to it when an exquisite bloom is needed for an arrangement. In addition to their exquisite appearance, the delicate-looking blossoms are renowned for their resilience when cut.

Is there anything more challenging than gardening for you? Want a cut flower so bad that it can survive in arid, hot weather? Lisianthus is a little-known flower that may hold the key to solving your problem. How to cultivate this vibrant, rose-like bloom in your yard is covered in this article.

Lisianthus Plant Overview

Common NamePrairie gentian, Bluebell gentian
Botanical NameEustoma russellianum
Plant TypeHerbaceous, perennial, annual
Mature Size1–3 ft. tall, 6–12 in. wide
Sun ExposureFull
Soil TypeMoist, well-drained soil
Soil pHNatural
Bloom TimeSummer, fall
Flower ColourPurple, pink, white, yellow
Hardiness Zones8–10 (USDA)
Native AreaNorthern America

Where to Plant Lisianthus

Most places grow this plant as an annual, while Zones 8–10 see perennial growth. Although it is said to be difficult for home gardeners to grow, it is well worth the effort to pay special attention to the sun, soil, and watering requirements to enjoy these amazing blossoms. These plants are excellent choices for borders and beds. Native to North America is Lisianthus.

When and How to Plant Lisianthus

Transplants require a period of cool soil, so plant them two to four weeks before the last spring frost. Place them slightly above the soil line, 4 to 6 inches apart. Their ideal growing conditions are well-draining, natural, or slightly acidic soil (pH 6.5–7.0), enhanced with compost.

Even for seasoned growers, growing Lisianthus transplants from seeds can be challenging. From seed to bloom, they require five or six months. Should you choose to give it a shot, disperse the seeds between mid-December and mid-January atop a mixture of moist vermiculite and peat potting material, then seal the container with plastic wrap.

Keep the temperature between 70°F and 75°F, and use grow lights just a few inches above the container to provide the seedlings with 16 hours of light every day until they emerge. Once the seedlings appear, take off the plastic (do not remove the grow lights) and keep the temperature above 60 °F.

Lisianthus Care

Lisianthus are worth the work, but they can be a little tricky to grow and maintain. Long-lasting cut flowers look well in borders and mixed containers.

  • Zones 7 and below will yield the best flowering when planting nursery-grown Lisianthus seedlings as annuals.
  • Grow on soil that is neutral in pH and rich in organic matter.
  • Offer warm, dry weather and six to eight hours of sun exposure each day.
  • Regularly fertilize with high phosphorus content.
  • To ensure recurrent blooms, always deadhead.


Lisianthus needs a lot of sunlight to develop and flower properly. It is best to get at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Choose a location in a warmer climates that will get full light in the morning and moderate shade in the afternoon, when the sun is at its hottest.

They can usually withstand full sun or bright light conditions, so you might not need as much shade in the afternoon in places with moderate summers like the Pacific Northwest.

A grow lamp will be required if you start seeds indoors to ensure proper seedling growth, as windows only supply a limited amount of sunlight. Your plants will require a light source that replicates the full sun’s brightness for a portion of the day.


Lisianthus loves soil that contains a lot of organic materials, such as compost, leaf mould, or manure. Because standing water in the soil can cause root rot, the soil must drain properly. Containers and raised beds are useful.

The ideal pH range for lianthus blooms is 6.5 to 7.0. Less vigour, fewer blossoms, and yellowing leaves are all signs of overly acidic or alkaline soil.


Give plants one inch of water a week, but don’t overwater them; instead, let the soil dry out a little bit between applications. Fungal infections are caused by overwatering. Drip irrigation is the recommended technique for creating a regular watering plan because timing might be difficult.

Temperature and Humidity

Lisianthus is a natural plant that thrives in hot, dry climates with long summer evenings. They suffer in high-humidity environments but can withstand heat and light drought. When planted in the ground, these plants can withstand temperatures as low as 28 °F.

They grow best in temperatures between 60°F and 75°F. They are generally grown as annuals in lower zones, as they are only thought to be hardy in zones 8 and higher.


Regularly fertilize Lisianthus with flower fertilizer that has 1.5 times the phosphorus as nitrogen. Apply it as directed on the packaging for the duration of the plant’s growing season. Plants with plenty of branches and blossoms need a consistent nutrition source.


Summer bloomers that are properly pruned might produce a second flush of flowers in the autumn. After the first bloom, begin by pruning stems back to the basal rosette.

After that, give your plants constant attention by fertilizing them, irrigating them frequently, and keeping weeds away. Around mid-September, keep an eye out for a second blooming.

Propagating Lisianthus

Lisianthus is a perennial found in warm-winter zones; it can occasionally be multiplied by splitting the root ball over the winter. A trowel, a sharp cutting tool, and a shovel are required.

  • Start by reducing the foliage and stems to a little height above the ground.
  • Take out the entire plant with a shovel, making sure to save as many roots as you can, including the lengthy tap root.
  • A sharp knife or trowel can be used to divide the root ball into sections, and each section should have some greens or buds.
  • After giving the fragments a thorough watering, immediately replant them at the same height as before. It should take a few weeks for new growth to appear.

Potting & Repotting Lisianthus

Plants of shorter height thrive in pots filled with regular potting soil. In mixed containers with baby’s breath, snapdragons, dianthus, and coreopsis, colours blend nicely. Plants need to be replanted year-round in zones where they are kept outdoors as perennials, increasing the pot size by one each time.

Plant nursery seedlings or plugs in containers deep enough to hold the root ball, spacing them 3 to 4 inches apart. Plants may sustain one another when placed closely together. Pots made of clay and terra cotta are excellent materials.


If Lisianthus is a perennial in your area, reduce winter feeding and prune back faded flower stalks to promote more blooms.

Some gardeners find that it is possible, if challenging, to keep potted Lisianthus flourishing indoors and bearing flowers throughout the winter.

The important things are to provide them with enough bright light, control the temperature, and keep common indoor pests like mites and fungus gnats at bay. Apply a monthly fertilizer feeding that is only slightly diluted.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

When Lisianthus plants are at the seedling stage, fungus gnats initially appear as a pest. Larvae can wreak havoc on plants since they feed mostly on roots and reside beneath the earth. Refrain from overwatering and apply neem oil or a light insecticide to the afflicted plants.

If you have an infestation of spider mites, apply neem oil. Lisianthus is prone to stem cankers and plant viruses.

Common Problems with Lisianthus

The most frequent difficulty is incomplete flowering, but growing Lisianthus can be difficult for several reasons.

Cut Flowers Don’t Last

Lisianthus-fresh blossoms can be stored for up to four weeks. Using sharp scissors, trim the leaves in the early morning, just above the base leaves. Trim the bottoms of the stems and remove any leaves that are below the waterline before adding the leaves to the vase.

Plants Topple Over

Double-bloom types are frequently too fragile to be supported by long stems. Look for ornate stakes and rings or grids that can be grown through.


The most beautiful flowers are frequently the hardest to grow. One of the flowers is Lisianthus. You may grow this lovely rose-like bloom nonetheless, provided you dare to give the seedlings care for 60 to 90 days.

The advantages of raising this plant far exceed the difficulties involved! The trials of the seedling stage will be compensated for by a multitude of colours, a long vase life, resistance to drought, and a consistent flow of blooms.


Does Lisianthus prefer direct sunlight or shadows?

Lisianthus needs six to eight hours a day in full light. In regions where summer temperatures are exceptionally high, shade in the afternoon is acceptable. These plants need to receive constant sunshine each day for them to flower.

Does Lisianthus reappear every year?

Lisianthus returns annually to certain zones. They are delicate perennials that are transitional in zone 7 and hardy in zone 8 and higher. They are cultivated as annuals in all other zones and need to be transplanted annually.

Is Lisianthus difficult to grow?

Yes, it is difficult to grow Lisianthus. They require constant care, such as deadheading, fertilizing, and watering regularly. They are challenging to start from seeds and can be picky about temperature and light. Most growers buy plugs or nursery plants and plant them as annuals in containers or in the summer garden.


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