Why do gardeners love eustoma so much? For the stunning aroma in the front garden, for the beauty comparable to a rose, for a long (up to three weeks!) Freshness in the cut.
In the 80s, the Japanese drew attention to the wild flower from the Indian prairies. It was they who gave the world hundreds of varieties and types of eustoma: summer and autumn, pot and garden, terry and bells, tall and dwarf, monochrome and two-color ...
April 1 - this is the date experienced florists call ideal for planting eustoma (seedlings) in the ground in the middle lane, regardless of the weather. And it's not a joke.
The thing is that during the first months of life, eustoma develops very slowly, which means that lively weeds and the first heat can easily destroy the baby! Early planting gives the tender plant a chance to gain strength before the active growth of weeds and the start of extreme heat.
Read more about growing eustoma below.
Eustoma (lat.Eustoma)also called lisianthus (lat. Lisianthus - bitter flower), or "Irish rose", or "Texas bell", or "Japanese rose", belongs to the gentian family. Translated from Latin, "eustoma" literally means "beautiful mouth", and in a more literary version - "beautifully speaking." The homeland of eustoma is considered the south of North America, Mexico, the north of South America and the Caribbean islands. American Indian legend tells that for the first time eustoma blossomed on the grave of an innocent girl who was killed by the spirit of war for refusing to become his wife. Irish physician and botanist Patrick Brown discovered eustoma for Europeans.
The plant is very popular among flower growers as a cut plant, as freshly cut eustoma can stand in a vase of water for up to three weeks. It has been cultivated as a houseplant since the nineties of the last century.
The stems of the eustoma are strong, almost one meter in height, but graceful, like those of a carnation. From the middle, the stems begin to branch, so the branch is a whole bunch, which can have up to 35 buds, blooming in turn. Eustoma leaves have a grayish or bluish tint, they are lanceolate-oval, matte, as if made of wax. The calyx of the flower is funnel-shaped, large and deep. Eustoma flowers, double and non-double, 5-8 cm in diameter, in different shades - pink, purple, white, purple, solid or with a contrasting border. When the eustoma bud is half-open, it looks like a rose, when the flower opens, it resembles a terry poppy.
Eustoma is a biennial plant in nature, in the garden version it is usually grown as an annual. Perennial eustoma is possible only in a potted version. In soil, eustoma can be grown as an annual and biennial plant.
In the photo: Blooming purple eustomas in the garden
Growing eustoma at home is a painstaking and time-consuming task. However, for those who master this process, it can be a very profitable business, as eustoma is becoming more popular both as a garden flower and as a potted culture. In this section, we will talk about how to grow eustoma from seeds, and the main difficulty of this process is that eustoma seeds are too small: there are 23,000 of them in one gram! Purchased seeds undergo special processing to increase germination, so about sixty of these seeds emerge from a hundred.
If eustoma from seeds is grown for planting in the garden, then it should be sown in February or March, then it will bloom in July-August. The substrate is needed, as for flower plants: sterilized, with a low nitrogen content, pH 6-7. After scattering the seeds, do not cover them with soil, just press lightly and cover the container with foil or glass, leaving gaps for air circulation and arranging additional illumination with fluorescent lamps for 10-12 hours a day.
The temperature for germinating seeds should be at least +20 ºC during the day and at least +14 ºC at night. Instead of watering, spray the seeds from time to time, although the first two months you are unlikely to need to do this: there will be an excess of evaporated moisture.
If all the conditions are met, the seedlings should appear no later than two weeks later, and as soon as this happened, the cover should be removed and the seedlings should be periodically sprayed with Fitosporin solution. As soon as several pairs of leaves appear at the seedlings (this will happen in about a month and a half), dive them into pots with a diameter of 4-5 cm. After three months, the plant is planted with an earthen lump in the ground.
In the photo: Blooming white eustoma
If you want to decorate an apartment with a blooming eustoma in the winter, sow from July to September. Fill a small container with wet sand and peat (1: 1) and sprinkle the seeds over it. Place the container covered with foil or glass in a warm (19-22 ºC) and bright place, spray the seeds, if necessary, and after two to three weeks you will wait for germination.
In the photo: Growing eustoma seedlings in tablets
As soon as the seedlings have the first pair of leaves, the amount of moisture is reduced, allowing the topsoil to dry out between waterings. In the future, moisturize only in the morning so that, in order to avoid black leg disease, the leaves are already dry in the evening and at night. When the sprouts have two pairs of leaves, you can dive them into separate pots and wait for flowering, which should come in January-February.
In the photo: Eustoma seedlings in pots
Growing eustoma in pots is not easy, as it desperately needs fresh air and bright diffused light. The best way out of the situation is a western or eastern window in the room with the ability to maintain the optimum temperature for the plant 19-22 ºC with regular ventilation. In addition, caring for eustoma involves moderate watering with settled soft water as the topsoil dries out.
Try to avoid both waterlogging and drying out of the soil. It is not necessary to spray the plant, as this can lead to leaf diseases.
During the period of intensive growth and during the period of bud formation, it is necessary to feed the eustoma with liquid complex fertilizers in a consistency of 10-15 ml per 10 liters of water. And, of course, it is necessary to remove wilted flowers in time. Try to comply with these conditions, and your eustoma in 90-100 days will delight you with its flowering again.
In the photo: Growing eustoma on a windowsill
Garden eustoma can be grown from seeds by sowing them in December or January to bloom in June or July. Fifty-milliliter cups are filled with soil mixture for violets and 3-5 seeds are laid out on top, slightly pressing them into the ground, and covered with a film so that the eustoma grows like in a greenhouse. The film will have to be lifted every 10 days to remove condensation from it and allow the seedlings to breathe a little. The optimum temperature for emergence in two weeks is 20-25 ºC. For the first couple of months, the seedlings also need additional lighting, but even with all these necessary conditions, the seedlings will grow very slowly. At the end of February, seedlings are placed on a sunny windowsill.
In the photo: Growing eustoma in the ground
As a prophylaxis of diseases, spray the seedlings with a Fundazole solution at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 1 liter of water, and for faster growth - with Zircon or Epin. A month and a half after the emergence of shoots, when they already have a couple of leaves, dive the seedlings into pots of 3-5 pieces, immersing them in the ground along the lower leaves. Remember to water and put a plastic bag over each pot for a greenhouse effect.
After a week, the seedlings will double in size. At the end of February or early March, transplant the seedlings into larger pots (diameter 8 cm) together with an earthen lump using the transfer method, placing a drainage layer in the pots first. Now they will grow up, waiting for landing in the ground.
In the photo: Eustoma seedlings at home
In mid-May, when the risk of frost is over, the seedlings are planted in open ground. A place for eustoma is chosen protected from drafts, with good drainage, light, but the light should be diffused. Landing is carried out in the evening or in cloudy weather. A seedling is immersed in a well-moistened hole along with a lump of earth in which it grew in a pot.
Eustoma grows as a bush, so it should be planted at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other. After planting, cover the seedlings for the first 2-3 weeks with glass jars or cut plastic bottles, and do not water them during this time. We have already written about watering, we will clarify only once again: eustoma is damaged by both increased soil moisture and lack of moisture.
In the photo: Eustoma flowering in a flower bed
When 6-8 leaves are formed on the stem, pinch the top so that the plant branches better. Approximately a month after planting, when the seedlings are already well rooted, they need to be fed with soluble mineral fertilizers. Plantafol is suitable for this purpose. In June, spray the eustoma with Plantafol growth with an increased nitrogen content, and in July and August - with Plantafol budding solution. You can use the drug Kemira, it is dissolved in water and the plants are watered at the root. Just try to use drugs in a slightly lower concentration than the manufacturers suggest.
The beginning of eustoma flowering depends on when you sow the seeds. If the sowing took place in late November or early December, then the eustoma will begin to bloom in early or mid-July - it also depends on what spring will be. If you sow the seeds in mid-January, then flowering will most likely begin in August. After the beginning of flowering, this process does not stop until the end of October: some buds fade, others bloom, and so on.
Blooming eustoma is not frightened by early frosts, and only when the frost is -10 ºС and snow falls, eustoma bloom can stop. If your eustoma faded early, cut off the wilted flowers, and, quite possibly, the eustoma will bloom again in six weeks.
In the photo: Eustoma flowering in a pot on a windowsill
Among the pests of eustoma, aphids, slugs, whiteflies and spider mites are dangerous. To protect against insects, you should use Aktar, Fitoverm, Actellik or Confidor. Eustoma is affected by powdery mildew, fusarium or gray rot, from which it can be protected by prophylactic spraying with Fundazol or the use of the drug Ridomir Gold.
In a faded pot eustoma, the stems are cut so that 2-3 internodes remain on them, and transferred to storage in a room with a temperature of + 10-15 ºC. Watering during the dormant period is rare; there is no need to feed the plant. In the spring, when you see new shoots, transplant it carefully, along with an earthen clod, into new soil and resume watering and normal care.
You can extend the flowering period of your garden eustoma by transplanting it together with the garden soil into a pot and moving it to a balcony or windowsill. In the house, she will delight you with flowering for some time with normal care. But a dormant period occurs in all plants. After the flowers wilt and the leaves turn yellow, they do the same with the garden eustoma as with the room: cut the stem at a height of 2-3 internodes and transfer it to a cool, well-ventilated room, almost stopping watering. There she will wait for spring.
Although there are about 60 species of eustoma in nature, only varieties are grown as a pot culture. eustoma Russell (Eustoma Russelianus), and as a garden - varieties eustoma grandiflorum (Eustoma grandiflorum)... Some growers even believe that this is one and the same species, and while flower growers are figuring out who is right, we will divide the types and varieties of eustoma according to their intended purpose. Eustoma can be short (no higher than 45 cm) or high. High varieties are grown in the garden for cutting, and undersized ones - mainly as indoor or balcony ones.
In the photo: Growing eustoma in the open field
In the photo: How Uzstoma blooms in the garden
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Eustoma is a plant that can often be seen in bouquets. It is not as difficult to grow it yourself as it seems at first glance. Try sowing seeds and if they do, you will soon have beautiful buds.
Many of you have seen beautiful eustoma flowers in expensive bouquets, in flower shops, and maybe in pots of garden centers.Have you ever wondered whether you can grow them yourself? How much knowledge and skills will be required in growing this flower, and maybe additional equipment (greenhouse, microclimate, phytolamps) ...
1. For growing in the garden, varieties of the Echo or ABC series are best suited. And in a pot culture it is convenient to grow compact varieties of the Florida or Mermaid series.
2. The eustomas bought in the store can also belong to tall varieties, but they are treated with special substances - retardants that inhibit growth, so they remain low.
3. In the open field, the plant is usually cultivated as an annual, although by its nature it is perennial. In a temperate climate, eustoma does not always winter well.
4. Eustoma flowers retain their freshness in cut for a long time (up to three weeks). Therefore, it is often used in the preparation of bouquets and is actively grown on an industrial scale for sale.
5. Lisianthus can be grown indoors throughout the year if you provide it with comfortable lighting conditions and the correct temperature regime. A part of the stem with a flower is cut off, leaving two or more pairs of leaves on the lower part, after a while (about a month) they give new shoots with flowers.
To determine the correct sowing time, it is necessary to take into account that eustoma begins to bloom 17–20 weeks after the emergence of sprouts. In addition, the time of planting the seed depends on the chosen "place of residence" of the plant and the region:
Eustoma seeds are very small. It is better to use seeds in a shell (dragee), which the manufacturer always indicates on the packaging with planting material.
ON THE PICTURE: Granular eustoma seeds are small enough. In order to spread them over the surface of the soil, it is convenient to use a moistened toothpick.
Growing eustoma from seeds requires compliance with a number of conditions for the quality of the soil, temperature regime, and the level of illumination.
The soil should be slightly acidic or neutral, light, accessible for air penetration, with a small amount of fertilizers.
Soil preparation options:
The homemade mixture is sterilized in the oven for an hour.
Deep containers are not required for this: you can use plastic transparent containers with a lid or any other in which you can make drainage holes and cover with cling film or glass.
Before planting, it is important to level the soil surface, moisten it and wait for excess water to leave through the drainage holes. Then spread the seeds in dragees on the soil surface at a distance of 1.5 cm from each other, lightly press them in without pouring earth on top. Moisten the soil again with a spray bottle.
ON THE PICTURE: When sowing, the granules can be split into small depressions to avoid dislodging them during watering.
The containers are placed in polyethylene or covered with glass. Ventilate daily and remove condensation.
It is important not to allow the soil to dry out: the shell may not dissolve and the seeds will not germinate. The optimum temperature for germination of eustoma from seeds is + 20–26 ° C.
It is better if at the same time artificial illumination of crops is provided for up to 12 hours a day. Since the seeds germinate better in the light.
The development of eustoma from seeds at the first stage is very slow, sprouts usually appear on the 10-12th day. A rather difficult process of obtaining seedlings, but the reward will be a beautiful eustoma flower. Many amateurs have mastered the cultivation of this plant from the seeds and share their experience on the forums.
After the sprouts appear, it is better to lower the temperature to + 18 ° C. To grow eustoma seedlings, artificial lighting must be continued until the end of March. It is better not to remove the film, because the sprouts are very tender.
Do not allow the soil to dry out, waterlogging is also dangerous. Ventilate and remove condensation from the film.
The first time lisianthuses dive in 1.5–2 months after seed germination. By this time, they should have 2-3 true leaves. For picking, take the same soil as for sowing seeds.
The first picking of seedlings is carried out after the appearance of the first two true leaves. Approximately 1.5 months after germination. Due to the slow growth, at the first pick, the seedlings can be planted in a common container in a checkerboard pattern at a distance of 2 cm from each other.
Growing eustoma requires several picks. Then they are made monthly before disembarking to a permanent place, i.e. 2-3 times as the eustoma seedlings grow at home.
ON THE PICTURE: Eustoma seedlings develop very slowly, therefore, pick up containers for picking small so that they have time to master them by the roots. It is optimal that the distance from the edge of the container to the seedling does not exceed 2 cm.
At the last pick, each plant should be allocated an individual container. It should be deep but small (about 4 cm in diameter).
After the seedlings have been cut, it is better to place the plants under a film to create a greenhouse effect. Train your eustoma seedlings to be filmless gradually.
Lisianthus sprouts respond well to daily feeding. To do this, dissolve 20 grams of seedling fertilizer in 10 liters of water. Suitable "Solution", "Agricola" and other soluble fertilizers in half the dosage.
Growing eustoma seedlings will be hassle-free if the recommendations above are followed.
However, if you accidentally dried the seedlings or "fried" in the bright spring sun, stimulants will help to correct the situation. For example, "Epin" significantly increases the resistance of plants to heat stress and drought. "Zircon" acts in the same way, but faster, and at the same time generally increases the tone of the plant.
ON THE PICTURE: Seedlings of tall varieties of eustoma practically do not bush, but you do not need to pinch them. Otherwise, it will seriously delay flowering time.
You can plant lisianthus after spring frosts. In some regions, return frosts occur until mid-June.
So how do you plant eustoma? Planting is carried out carefully, without disturbing the earthen coma.
It is best not to plant this delicate plant in a flower garden, but keep it in a small container. One plant requires 2-3 liters of soil.
With a drop in temperature or prolonged rains, gentle lisianthus must be brought into the house. The plant usually begins to bloom in mid-July, depending on the start of growing eustoma from seeds.
ON THE PICTURE: Eustoma petals are damaged by rain. It is in order to avoid stains and deformation of the petals that the plants are protected from rain.
Eustoma prefers a very bright place, but with diffused sunlight. It is better if the light falls from the south, east or west side. An adult plant loves regular spraying (excluding falling on flowers), but does not tolerate waterlogging of the soil.
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Cultivation of "prairie gentian" can hardly be called a simple occupation, but the appearance of exotic buds will fully justify the effort. Healthy bushes with lush and beautiful inflorescences are the result of observing a whole list of conditions in which the eustoma can develop as well as in its natural environment of eternal equatorial summer.
Above the central meridian of the Earth, the sun lingers the longest, which means that the Texas bell initially needs a long day of light and a large number of photons. When cultivating it from seedlings, you cannot do without a special lamp, which should shine at least 14 hours a day. Ultraviolet radiation on the southern windowsill or flowerbed located on the warm side of the building is quite enough for adult plants.
During the entire growing season, from planting the seeds to the ripening of the bolls, lisianthus should be warm most of the time. The ideal temperature for a capricious flower is + 20 ... + 25C, it does not tolerate long-term cold - it can get sick. After flowering, two-year varieties are advised by professionals to prune, leaving only two pairs of lower leaves, transplant into a pot and keep at + 12 ... + 14C in a well-lit place until next summer. In this case, the plants need only occasionally be watered with settled water.
Moistening the soil under the eustoma should be carried out moderately, but regularly. It is very useful to spray the plant with warm water (preferably in the evening, when the liquid will not evaporate in the sun). The Texas bell is not adapted to accumulate moisture, since it rains quite often in its habitats. Overdried soil and air will cause leaves and stems to dry out quickly, which can cause flowering to stop altogether.
If the substrate is too dense, and the temperature is low, then with excessive watering or stagnant water, root rot may occur. To avoid such consequences, with prolonged precipitation, it is advisable to periodically loosen the ground around Irish roses, you can also mix river sand, peat, sawdust or some kind of fine drainage to it.
The feeding of young eustoma plants is carried out in several stages. The first - 3 weeks after germination - is spraying the sprouts with zircon, which promotes root development.
After picking the seedlings, water-soluble preparations with a high content of nitrogen and calcium are introduced into separate pots for rapid growth of green mass every two weeks. Before flowering, potassium humate (tea solution) and potassium phosphate are used.
These additives promote the formation of more buds and have a beneficial effect on the bushes in general. As for the dosage, it is better to adhere to the recommendations indicated on the packaging of the selected fertilizer.
When the danger of frost has passed, it is worth putting the eustoma on the balcony or planting it in the garden, since in the long term it does not grow well at home.
To determine if a seedling is suitable for transplanting into the ground, it is enough to count its leaves. If he has 6-8 leaves, he is completely ready for life in an open flower bed. The term for growing seedlings is 2 months, the plants grow slowly.
The time for planting eustoma in open ground depends on the weather conditions in the region. In summer, eustoma prefers temperatures up to 22 ° C, and in winter at temperatures below 10 ° C, it cannot even be indoors. When it is warm enough outside, the risk of late frosts, which usually happens at the end of May, passes, you can plant eustoma in the ground.
Eustoma should be planted in a warm, wind-protected, sunny or slightly shady place.
Eustoma can be planted in a slightly shaded area, but it should be in full sun for at least 4 hours a day.
Eustoma does not tolerate acidic soil, the pH of the soil should be in the range of 6.5 - 7.0. In acidic soil, it grows poorly, the leaves turn yellow. If the soil in your garden is too acidic, you can increase its alkalinity by adding a little limestone.
It is good if the growing area is slightly protected from the midday sun and heavy rains, which can seriously harm the plant. These flowers can be planted under trees or shrubs with a loose openwork crown. The site is thoroughly cleared of weeds before planting.
Saplings are planted, observing the distance between individual plants at least 15 cm. It is better to plant eustoma in the evening so that the sharp rays of the sun do not burn the weakened plant.
The root ball removed from the pot is placed in the prepared hole and covered with soil.
The seedling is placed in the ground at the same depth as it grew in the container.
In the first period after planting in the garden, it is worth using glass or plastic caps, which will help delicate plants adapt to natural conditions. If the weather forecast suddenly promises cool nights, you need to cover the delicate plants with foil.
Eustoma seeds can germinate for quite a long time, up to 20 days. Although in some favorable conditions, the first shoots may appear as early as 8-10 days. After the emergence of seedlings, the temperature, if possible, can be reduced to + 18 ° + 20 ° С, at night it can even be up to + 15 ° С.
It is important to regularly, once a day, remove it for ventilation and remove condensation from the inner surface of the lid. This must be done before seed germination, while simultaneously controlling the moisture content of the substrate.
The first shoots of eustoma are as tiny as the seeds themselves. They are even difficult to distinguish on the soil surface. And the development of plants in the first weeks is very slow. But, given that eustomas are insanely demanding on the nutrient medium, the first feeding can be started quite early, literally 1-2 weeks after germination.
It is best when watering to moisten the soil to use not just water, but a solution with Energen or other nutrient stimulants (EM preparations, Chlorella, Agate, vermicompost, etc.)
When 4 small leaves appear on the seedlings, this is the most suitable moment for picking, since it is during this period that the eustoma is relatively good at this procedure, which cannot be said about the later stages of its development. If you grow eustoma in peat tablets, then picking should be started when the first roots appear from below. In the case of peat tablets, you simply transfer them along with the plants into larger containers.
In other cases, the pick is carried out using toothpicks or a suitable tool from the manicure set.
The next day after the seedlings are sorted into separate containers or when they are about 2-3 weeks old, it is advisable to feed the eustoma with a solution of calcium nitrate.
To do this, the mother liquor is first prepared (1 tbsp. Spoon per 1 liter of water), which is infused in a dark bottle for a day. To feed eustoma seedlings, 10 ml of this solution is added to 0.5 liters of water.
If, after the pick, the eustoma does not feel well or grows poorly, you can spray it with any stimulant and place it again under the bag or in the greenhouse.
In the future, every week, eustoma seedlings need regular feeding. To do this, you can use twice as much diluted as according to the instructions solutions of any complex water-soluble fertilizers (Uniflor growth, Fertika, Kristallon, Plantofol, Solution and others).
Thus, it is quite possible to grow eustoma from seeds, you just need to stock up on perseverance and patience.