As an indoor plant it is used to make flowering corners or to have bouquet flowers.
It is a perennial herbaceous plant native to South America and the Caribbean Islands.
It has large basal leaves, bluish-green in color, very decorative, throughout the summer produces numerous stems that prune some buds, from which, in succession, Large bell-shaped flowers bloom in purple, pink, lilac, yellow or purple. The botanical species have purple or lilac flowers, the other colours are due to the hybridizers. These plants are cultivated as apartment plants, but are also very common as cut flowers, or are placed in the garden, where they are cultivated as annual.
It is also known as Lisianthus.
History of the Eustoma
In European countries, the import dates back to a fairly recent period, and even more recent is its spread as an ornamental plant or the sale of cut flowers. But it quickly gained an important place and became a favourite flower both for its bouquets and as a plant to be cultivated thanks to the variety of colours, the particular grace and the duration of the cut flower.
The eustoma calendar
- The lisianthus or eustoma, as it is called, is a relatively young plant. This wild plant was discovered in the nearby XIX century in the United States of America and especially in New York.
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For good growth and abundant flowering, it is best to keep the lisianthus grandiflorum in a very bright place, but not exposed to direct sunlight for too many hours a day, especially during the summer days which can have very high temperatures; these plants fear the cold, therefore in winter they are to be kept in the house, possibly close to a window, but away from direct sources of heat, such as radiators.
The plant of the eustoma can be kept indoors, in a bright room, in a greenhouse, in a veranda or outside (on a balcony or terrace in large flower boxes, or in the garden next to other plants): will make any space in which it is placed more beautiful. However, it should be stressed that it can withstand the summer heat, even high temperatures, but does not like the cold, so it is grown as an annual or biennial plant.
Usually the plant has a short duration and dies after the withering of the last flowers.
The plant of the eustoma loves light, but must be protected from the winds and, in the warmer months, it is better to position it even in a sheltered place from the sun.
Eustoma in brief
Type of plant
From flowers, from cut flowers
North America, North South America area
Greenhouse, veranda, cut flower or vase
Height at maturity
From 30 to 60 cm
Speed of growth
Diseases and pests
Aphids, grey rot
Between 15° and 25° degrees
The plant of the eustoma produces a kind of beautiful and delicate field flower like a poppy, whose buds and flowers generally resemble those of the rose, however the appearance changes considerably by virtue of the numerous existing cultivars and the many hybrid species, created mainly by the Japanese. The first crosses were made in the first decades of the last century and the remarkable variety of colors and shapes is due to the activity of the Japanese.
The beauty of the flower, the very special colours of the delicate petals (from white, to blue, pink, salmon, purple, purple), the long and robust stems (they can reach 60 cm), and the duration as cut flower (if you change the water in the pot with a certain frequency, the duration becomes longer), make the eustom. suitable for floral arrangements and bouquets .
The flowers with single or double corollas, depending on the crossings, of a single color or with streaks of different colors, are suitable to create beautiful floral decorations.
The eustoma is also appreciated for its unique oval leaves with a bluish green colour on which the beautiful brightly coloured flowers are even more evident.
How to Cultivate the Eustoma
The eustoma or lisianthus can be cultivated in a vase or in the middle of the earth but must be exposed to the sun, so you must choose a position that provides enough light and mild temperatures. Sunshine and night-time temperatures above 150 degrees are necessary for abundant flowering.
The soil must be fertile, fresh, rich and well drained . If the eustoma is planted in the ground, place the plants at a distance of at least 30 cm from each other.
The plant grows rapidly, but does not reach high heights. In summer, 2 to 4 flowers, or even 6 flowers, bloom on each flower stem. The plants on the market usually undergo treatments and remain rather low (20-40 cm), while those sown and then planted on their own become much taller (up to 60 cm). Therefore, if you prefer the smaller varieties to be grown in pots, indoors, buy the plant instead of sowing it.
As far as the proper water supply is concerned, From March to October, water regularly, but do not exceed and leave the soil to dry slightly. between one watering and the other; in the cold months water sporadically, when the soil is dry. It is good to take care that no water stagnation forms because it can be very harmful to the health of plants of this type.
When temperatures are quite high it may be a good idea to proceed with some sprays often vaporizing the leaves with demineralized water. Be careful, even when proceeding with watering, to avoid wetting the flowers as they may present stains and marks.
They can easily withstand short periods of drought.
In the growing season, the eustoma needs regular watering because the soil must remain constantly moist, especially potted plants must be watered regularly throughout the summer because the soil must never dry too much. In winter, when grown every two years, watering must be very limited. If the plants appear slightly withered, pour water into the saucer. If you notice that the water supply is insufficient, immerse the pot for a few minutes in a container full of water.
To maintain an adequate level of humidity, it is possible to mulch the soil with straw. But be careful not to exaggerate as the eustoma fears rottenness caused by excess water.
For the planting of these specimens, utilize a rich and well drained soil, formed by balanced mould, mixed with sand and crushed pine bark, in order to slightly maintain the humidity, but to granulate a good drainage degree, fundamental factor for avoiding rottenness problems.
To obtain a luxuriant plant it is advisable to repot the eustoma grandiflorum every 2-3 years proceeding with the operation in the spring period.
L ‘eustoma needs a fertile and fresh garden soil with good drainage. The purchased plant can be kept in the pot if you intend to grow it as an annual plant and do not want to create flower arrangements. If, on the other hand, the eustoma is grown at home as a perennial plant, it is advisable to repot every 2-3 years.
During the growth period (June-end of August), administer liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
Reproduction of these plants to obtain new specimens by seed, in autumn or at the end of winter, keeping the seedbed in a temperate place until germination has taken place The new plants can be transferred to pots in late spring. It is also possible to proceed by division of the heads, using fertile soil to plant the new plants obtained and keeping them in a sheltered place with a constant temperature until they are rooted.
From sowing to planting
Sowing is carried out between November and February if you want to have a flowering in the first year, because it takes at least 5 months for the plant to reach the development necessary for the flowering process.
I seeds of the plant are very small For this reason it is advisable to mix them with sand or coffee grounds in order to distribute them more evenly.
Prepare a seedbed with land suitable for sowing. Spread the seeds on the surface covering them just with a little soil, but very little, as the seeds need light to germinate. If you want to avoid the risk of them rotting, spread a little carbon dust on the seeds.
Place the seedbed in a place where the average temperature is 200-250 degrees. and don’t go below 150 degrees. The process of germination is quite difficult. Usually a sort of mini-greenhouse is needed, which you can achieve by covering the seedbed with a plastic sheet at least until you see the first sprouts sprouting. Do not dampen the soil too much as the seeds may rot.
When the seedlings of the eustoma have 3-4 leaflets, must be transplanted into jars which should be placed in a bright place with a temperature of 150 to 180 degrees Celsius. While the planting in full earth or in pot is done in the spring. In colder regions, it is advisable to wait until the end of the frosts before transplanting the plants.
If you intend to plant them in the ground, begin to put the pots with the plants out a few hours a day when the risk of frost is absent, so that they begin to get used to. When planting, pay close attention to the roots as they are extremely fragile and the plant will react poorly to any damage to the root system. For seedlings in the ground, in some cases it is necessary to help the plant with a guardian.
If you don’t want to get flowers from the first year, wait for the spring or the beginning of summer and you can sow the eustoma directly outside to have the flowering the following year.
Pests and diseases
Eustoma grandiflorums are often attacked by the cochineal and mites . They can be effectively countered with the use of special insecticide products, or, by intervening manually to eliminate the cochineals, with the use of a cloth with alcohol. In case of excessive humidity these plants can also develop fungal diseases which, if not treated properly, can lead to the death of the plant.
The leaves of the eustoma can be attacked by aphids: if you notice their presence, try to eliminate them with an insecticide.
The plant may be affected by the Rotting: Too much water or soil with insufficient drainage can cause root rot. or the grey rot at the base of the stem. Rottenness is caused by fungi that cause the leaves to wither, the plant to weaken progressively and death.
Flowering requires temperatures above 150 degrees, and cultivation must however take place at temperatures between 150 and 250 degrees. The climate of the Mediterranean regions, characterised by mild winters, allows the eustoma to be grown outdoors, in the open air or on a balcony or terrace.
The eustoma does not need to be pruned, but in very high varieties, cut the tips of the stems before flowering so that the plant becomes stronger and has more flowers. Periodically remove damaged parts and wilted flowers.
Eustoma grandiflorum: Tips and Curiosities
The seeds of the eustoma grandiflorum can be recovered from the wilted flowers and then dried. If stored under proper conditions, they last for about three years.
L ‘eustoma grandiflorum or lisianthus is a plant native to some territories of the United States where it grew spontaneously. The first seeds arrived in Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century. The first appearance of the plant at a German seller dates back to 1902.
Subsequently began the great activity of hybridization carried out by the Japanese, and in the eighties of the XX century appear in Holland the many varieties of colors and corollas with single or double petals cultivated for commercial purposes. In the following decade, the eustoma spread to Europe, but this plant is now very different from the original American specimen.
In the nineties it began to be marketed and appreciated especially for the creation of multicolored bouquets, but it is still not widespread as an outdoor plant to beautify flower beds or borders, although it lends itself very well to the association with plants that do not fear the humidity.
The eustoma is the most suitable flower to express our gratitude and thanks, so offer it to express your gratitude.