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Lisianthus is simple to incorporate into a design because it comes in a variety of sizes. With their long, willowy stems, Lisianthus over 18 inches tall may occasionally need some support in the landscape. In the image above, you can see how the shorter decorative kale (Brassica oleracea) in front of “Balboa Rose” not only mimics the shape of the blooms but also serves as a useful plant prop. The tall purple verbena (Verbena bonariensis) behind the lisianthus has stiff stalks that both provide an airy background and help keep the slender stems upright.
The gentle blossoms of the shorter, more robust purple ‘Ventura’ lisianthus in the image above contrast wonderfully with the daisy-like zinnias (Zinnia hybrida) and coral-shaped cockscomb flowers in the front of the border (Celosia argentea cristata). To give them some presence and create a wonderful flash of colour, group five or more plants together.
A variety of gentle hues and colors, including white, yellow, champagne, apricot, chartreuse, pink, blue, and purple, are present in the blossoms that are arranged gracefully on the stems. Early to midsummer sees the opening of the rose-like buds, which start at the base of the stem and move upward. From the first bud opening to the last, each lisianthus stem (and there are many stems per plant) blooms for two to four weeks. That plant looks so tiny, but it has a lot of floral power!
Lisianthus has more to offer than just wonderful flowers. The attractive, blue-green foliage and thin branches draw attention to the delicate blossoms. Additionally, the lisianthus is available in a variety of sizes, from the 6-inch dwarf “Lizzy Pink” exhibited above, combined with “Kent Beauty” ornamental oregano (an Origanum hybrid), to longer-stemmed beauties that reach a height of 36 inches.
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Lisianthus enjoys warm, dry air and is a native of grasslands and fields in the southern United States and Mexico. Lisianthus may have trouble thriving in cool, humid environments.
To grow lisianthus, pick a spot in your garden that receives direct sunlight. Lisianthus thrives from some afternoon shade if you live in a hot summer area like the low desert of Arizona.
If you maintain deadheading, lisianthus flowers from July until the first frost. Pinch off the flower’s stem where it emerges from two leaves when it becomes brown so that new buds will form. For the majority of the summer, plants will continue to produce flower stalks. Great for cutting, lisianthus often lasts up to two weeks in a vase. But if you follow a few easy instructions, you can easily get it to stay looking fantastic for up to four weeks. This is how:
Flowers’ cut tips