Eustoma: popular species and varieties, growing conditions in the garden

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Eustoma or Lisianthus (lat. Eustoma ) is a plant of the Gentian family. The flower bud resembles a rose, but without the thorns. It occurs naturally in the southern United States and Mexico. Other names for eustoma include Irish rose, prairie bluebell. Initially, the plant was grown at home, in warmth, but later began to be planted in open areas as a garden annual or biennial.


Eustoma is leading among crops gaining popularity. This plant has dark green pointed leaves with a characteristic silvery coating. The lisianthus bush branches very strongly and the bulk of the flowers are located in the upper part. Eustoma is valued for its relative unpretentiousness and beautiful flowers resembling a rose. But the growing period is long, which sometimes stops gardeners.

In nature, the plant is found in areas with fertile soil that are well lit. The height of wild eustoma is up to 60 cm, and the flowers are of different shades of blue and purple. It is a biennial that reproduces by seeds.

In gardens, it is often grown as an annual, because the root system does not withstand severe frosts – it is warm in the homeland of the plant. Breeders tried to develop varieties that are resistant to cold.

But the lowest temperature that the gentle “prairie bells” can withstand is up to +10 C. The height of the plant also differs from the original one – from 25 – 30 to 50 – 70 cm, sometimes up to a meter.

Thanks to the efforts of specialists, the choice of shades of colors has expanded: snow-white, yellow, pink, purple, red. Two-color varieties were invented and with a contrasting border around the edge of the bud.

Unopened eustoma flowers are shaped like a blossoming rose, open – a delicate poppy. The calyx is funnel-shaped, diameter – 5 – 8 cm. Up to 25-30 delicate inflorescences can alternately ripen on one stem.

One branch of some Lisianthus varieties can replace a whole bouquet. After cutting, the flowers can stand in water for more than three weeks – sometimes up to a month. It is always important to cut off the lower leaves so that they do not come into contact with water. In a bouquet, eustoma looks beautiful with rose, peony and carnation.

Species and varieties

Eustoma has been cultivated since the 80s. In nature, inflorescences in blue shades are common. But Japanese breeders have created varieties of pink, white, yellow and other shades. Gradually, interest in eustoma increased, and the plant began to be grown in open areas around the planet.

At first, the plant was protected and planted at home – in pots, but later experts developed varieties that can withstand temperatures up to +10. Today, about 60 species of this culture are known.

Varieties derived from Eustoma Russellianus (Russell). Hybrid species differ in height, number of inflorescences and flower features. The shades of the buds are also different: peach, yellow, red and others. There are even two-color copies.

Breeders have bred plants with terry petals, giving additional pomp to the flower.

Ordinary inflorescences look elegant and restrained, among the popular options:




Terry varieties are spectacular and look luxurious:




The height of the stem also differs: dwarf varieties (up to 30 cm, grown at home) and tall (suitable for landscaping and cutting).

The most famous tall varieties:

“Aurora” is an early flowering variety. Terry flowers, different shades: white, pink, sky blue, blue. Stem length – 0.9 – 1.2 m. Can be bred in winter in a greenhouse.

“Flamenco” – early eustoma with large buds (diameter – about 8 cm), many shades. The average height is 90 – 120 cm. An unpretentious variety, grown for cutting into bouquets.

“Kyoto White” – a plant with snow-white flowers and a delicate aroma. Easy and fast growing.

“Heidi” – a variety with simple monochromatic flowers, up to 15 color options. Length – up to 90 cm, abundant flowering.

“Echo” – the variety is characterized by early flowering. Stem length – up to 70 cm, sprawling bush. Flowers are two-tone and solid, there are 15 shades. Especially popular for cutting.

“Cinderella” is a plant with a stem length of 50 cm. This variety has pale pink or yellow inflorescences.

Almost all varieties include a series of several subspecies. In one series – varieties with a certain color of the bud. The most famous among dwarf varieties:

«Florida Pink». The difference of this variety is monophonic pink flowers, inflorescences are almost on the same level.

«Little Bell». The bush grows up to 15 – 25 cm. The flowers are small, reminiscent of bells. The colors of the buds are different. The peculiarity of the variety is that these plants do not need pinching.

«Mermaid». Suitable for growing at home, because the height of such a eustoma is 15 cm. The flowers are simple, up to 6 cm in diameter. The colors of the petals are white, pink, blue.

“Loyalty” . The height of the eustoma is up to 20 cm. A lot of snow-white flowers appear on the shrub, arranged in a spiral.

Taking into account the timing of flowering, eustoma varieties are divided into very early (group “0”), early (“1”), medium (“2”), late (“3”), very late (“4”). Sometimes plants are divided into 4 groups, without superearly. If the summer in the region is cool, it is better to choose an option with an early flowering period.

Below you can consider a selection of photos of species and varieties of eustoma, the name and description of which was given in this section:


In nature, eustoma is a two-year-old shrub, but in an open area, not in natural conditions, it often withstands one season. In warm climates, self-germination is possible. Room eustoma usually degenerates after 2 years.

It is believed that cuttings of the bush and planting by the root are possible. But the cuttings often do not take root, and the plant reacts negatively to the division of the roots.

Due to damage to the root, the bush dies. Eustoma bulbs do not form, so a popular breeding method is growing from seeds.

When the eustoma flower is propagated by seeds, the seed is collected from varietal plants , since the hybrid varieties are sterile or the daughter eustoma does not have the required characteristics.

The seed pods are opened by pouring the material into the prepared bowl and then onto a sheet of paper. Seeds are separated from debris.

Landing Rules

The difference between eustoma is a long growing season. From sowing to flowering takes about 6 months. Some varieties bloom after 7 – 8 months, and in the northern regions sometimes after 9 months. Initially, the plant was difficult to grow, and only professionals could cope with this – it was necessary to create special conditions. Today, there are varieties that are less whimsical and suitable for lovers.

The most effective method of growing eustoma from seedlings, but this requires the appropriate conditions, a greenhouse or home pots. The plant dies in the cold (less than +10 C), so it is impossible to germinate the seeds in the open air. Planting is planned for the winter, December – January, then in June there will be flowers. Sometimes – at the end of November.

The approach itself is almost no different from the characteristics of sowing other plants. For sowing seeds, containers with a volume of 250 ml are suitable. It is necessary to load the soil there and moisten it with a sprayer.

It is important not to overdo it – moisture should be only in the upper part. Eustoma requires a certain soil – light and moisture-permeable. Seeds are sown in the ground for flowering plants with a neutral pH of 6-7. Suitable soil for Saintpaulia. Eustoma does not like acidic soils.

A novice gardener is recommended to choose an annual crop. The seeds of this culture are 2 times less than those of petunia: the number of seeds in 1 gram is more than 20 thousand. The seeds are too small and are sold in granular form.

There are two ways to sow.

Seeds are laid out on the surface of the soil , sprayed with a spray gun and pressed into the soil with the help of a rail. The seeds are small, so you do not need to sprinkle on top. The top should be slightly peeking out of the ground.

The seeds are laid out in shallow furrows of 2–3 mm at a distance of 1–1.5 cm. After unfolding, they are sprinkled with river sand and watered with a spray bottle. Thanks to this plant, there will be enough moisture, and where the base is, it will be dry.

After watering, the pot is covered with glass or film and placed in a mini-greenhouse, where the temperature is kept at +21 – +24 C. If the indicator exceeds + 25C, the appearance of the outlet will accelerate – in the future, the eustoma will develop poorly.

Need a well-lit area (at least 10 hours of daylight). In February and March, the days are short – additional lighting is needed. Every day, the film needs to be lifted to ventilate the soil and wiped. The earth is kept moist by carefully spraying with warm water from a spray bottle.

Seeds germinate in 10 – 14 days after sowing, full leaves appear in a month. It takes 6-10 weeks from sowing to picking. The figures are conditional, everything depends on the conditions created: the terms may fluctuate.

When carrying out a pick, they are guided by the plant itself. Eustoma should already have 4 – 6 leaves, stem growth – 1.5 – 2 cm. Lisianthus should not be overexposed, because the plant has an intensive development of the root system at the initial stage.

If you delay, the root will grow, which will delay the development of the plant in the future – it will no longer be powerful. During picking, tweezers are used. For better survival, they create a greenhouse effect by putting a transparent cap on each pot.

When the threat of frost passes, it is possible to plant eustoma seedlings in a suitable area for growing, that is, in an area where there is no direct sunlight and drafts. Bushes are transplanted into holes (distance – 10 – 15 cm).

The plant is taken out of the pot along with a clod of earth, immersed in a prepared hole and sprinkled with earth. The seedlings are watered, and then each bush is covered with a cut plastic bottle.


To grow eustoma or lisianthus, it is necessary to create conditions as close as possible to natural ones, then this flower will delight the eye with beauty for a long time.

Eustoma is a heat-loving plant that prefers a long daylight hours. It needs a lighted area, but without direct exposure to sunlight. A garden, balcony, terrace or outdoor courtyard will do. The plant needs lighting for 13 – 16 hours a day. If there is not enough light, the timing of flowering is postponed.

This American bluebell also has its own temperature requirements. The conditions are dictated by the homeland of the plant, the south of the USA – the climate there is humid and warm. Suitable temperature in spring and summer is +20 – +24 C.

The average daily temperature is about +19. When it is too hot, the bush needs to be covered from the sun and sprayed with water. At night – not less than +15. In autumn, lower temperatures are also suitable, and in winter, rest is required at +12 – + 15C.

Bushes need to provide moderate humidity – eustoma does not like dry air. Delicate roots do not tolerate overdrying. Regular watering is provided as the topsoil dries. But high humidity will also damage – fungal diseases appear. If the plant is homemade, the excess water from the pan must be drained.

When caring for eustoma when it is grown in open ground, weekly top dressing is carried out, alternating the calcium complex and nitrogen-containing mineral fertilizers. On the eve of flowering, increase the dose of mineral fertilizer with a high content of potassium.

Before frost, eustoma is transplanted into a pot and taken home. To this end, the stem with buds is cut off, and the bush is carefully dug up with a clod of earth so as not to damage the root system.

The plant is perfectly reconciled with the apartment air and even with the close location of the batteries. When the eustoma blooms, the principles of care change. For wintering provide +10 – +15 C, watering twice a month, dimly lit place. Fertilizers are not applied.

By spring, the bush needs to be trimmed at the end of winter. By May, the eustoma will grow new shoots, each will be covered with buds. The plant can be planted in a flower bed or left in a pot. Sometimes the flowerpot is buried in the soil, which reduces exposure to sunlight.

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