Annual (Eustoma grandiflorum), 624,000 seeds/oz. Germinates best at 70 to 75 degrees F.
Lisianthus is also known as Texas Blue Bell. Available in colors of blue, lilac, rose, pink and white, it can be sold as a pot plant, bedding plant or cut flower.
As a pot plant, it is generally recommend not to mix colors. When the seedlings have reached the four- to five-leaf stage, they are ready to be transplanted to their finishing container, using one to a 4 inch pot, two to a 5 inch pot, and three to a 6 inch pot. When roots have reached the edge of the pot, it is time to pinch above the third node.
Since the plants are naturally upright growing (unless one of the newer dwarf, compact varieties are used), it is essential that a growth regulator be used. A B-Nine spray at the rate of 2,500 ppm is said to be effective in some areas, while in other a drench of A-Rest at .5 mg has produced desirable results. These growth regulators should be applied when new breaks have reached a length of length of 2 inches to 8 inches. Under natural light conditions during the fall and winter plants will rosette. To prevent this use night lighting from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Optimal growing temperature is 65 degrees F. at night. Proper light intensity is 4,000 foot candles, which means that in high-light areas during late spring and summer, they should be grown under a light shade (20%).
If sown around the first of the year, total crop time would run about 20-23 weeks when finishing in a 4 inch or 6 inch pot. If started from plugs the total crop time would be cut in half (10 to 12 weeks). It is very important to run the seedlings and transplants on the dry side. A light feed (150 ppm) of a complete fertilizer at each irrigation is adequate.
There is a very promising new pot variety,.Blue Lisa", which is very compact and early.
When grown as a cut flower from seed, crop time is about 22 to 24 weeks when sown about January 15. Lisianthus, when grown as a cut flower, will last about two weeks. They do not shatter and are easy to ship. Transplants with four to five leaves are generallyspaced in the bench at 6 inches x 6 inches for a pinched crop. They require one or two tiers of support netting. Some growers find that the best time to grow lisianthus as cuts is spring and summer, when crop time is much shorter. Flowers should be harvest when the first lateral buds open. Plants will reach a height of 24 to 30 inches unless they are the more compact varieties now available on the market.
Disease problems include root rot and damping off. Preventative drenches are recommended. It is also important to start with a well-drained, pasteurized media and to run the crop on the dry side.
Major insects infesting lisianthus are whitefly, mites, thrips and aphids.
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