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Posted by ruthiegarden z5 MI (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 2, 05 at 20:41

What can you tell me about this flower? I saw some in a bouquet at a farmers market last summer and fell in love. What are the secrets to growing them successfully? I'm not in the cut-flower business. I just have a cutting garden for my own home and to give away.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: lisianthus

Lisianthus -- Seed is fairly expensive. It takes forever for germination. The little thing just sits there for the longest time before it decides to do anything. We don't start ours from seed. If you do, you will need to start them in January. We order plugs from a broker. Those plugs are not even the size of a dime in diameter. They also sit in the growing bed in our unheated hoophouse for about three weeks before doing anything. They don't like stress. They get stressed from too much heat. They get stressed if you look at them the wrong way. If they get rootbound at all in the seed tray, they will be stunted. We grow them in the hoophouse in order to get the desired height. Some people have success growing them in the field. Lisianthus aren't for the faint of heart. They are just a beautiful flower for bouquets, and are much sought after. We participate in several farmers markets in Michigan. Out of curiousity, I am wondering which market in Michigan you had seen the lisianthus last summer.

RE: lisianthus

Thank you for the information. I planted some from seedlings and they don't look too happy. I figured if they were easy to grow I would have seen them around more. I visit the farmers market in Okemos. Where do you sell?

RE: lisianthus

Also - be aware that some varieties that you may see are dwarf varieties, meant for pots or annual beds. The cutting varieties are generally not available, or at least I haven't seen them!

I grow mine in the field, transplanted as plugs that were planted in January. I usually get flowers by late August - October. I underplant them under taller flowers to provide shade and wind protection. And, keep them evenly moist. Once they get going, they're great and hardier to cold.

They're great cutflowers though!!

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