How to Grow Eustoma Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Prairie Gentian, Texas Bluebell, and Lisianthus

Although a perennial Eustoma is normally grown as an annual in the garden.

They require to be grown in areas that have hot summers, and flower in the summer with double bell shaped flowers of purple, pink or cream, atop an upright stem.

They can reach heights of 15 to 60 cm making them great to use in borders.

Common names for Eustoma include Prairie gentian.

Eustoma exaltatum
Eustoma exaltatum - Catchfly Prairie Gentian by Marlin Harm; creative commons.

Eustoma grandiflorum
Eustoma grandiflorum by Plantscape (Ajinkya); creative commons.

Eustoma Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Gentian, Texas Bluebell, Lisianthus, Prairie Gentian, Tulip gentian.
Life Cycle: Hardy Hardy annual. Half hardy perennial. Biennial.
Height: 8 to 24 inches (20 to 60 cm).
Native: Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Purple, blue, pink, cream, white. Bell-shaped. Rose-like.
Foliage: Blueish-green. Waxy.
Sow Outside: Surface. Early spring in warm areas. Spacing 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: Use Peat pots. Germination time: ten days to three weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Three months in advance. Transplant seedlings when they reach about six inches (15cm) in height, a few weeks after the last frost when temperatures do not drop below 41°F (5°C).
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Moist soil. Pinch tips. Do not transplant.
Closely Related Species:
Miscellaneous: Although often going by the common name of Gentian, members of the Eustoma genus should not be confused with members of the Gentiana genus.

How to Grow Prairie Gentian and other Eustoma Plants in the Garden

It is best to start Prairie Gentian off indoors first. The seeds should be sown on the surface of a moist soil in a peat pot, about ten weeks before they are due to be planted out in spring. It takes about one to three weeks to germinate; they require a steady temperature of 20 to 22 degrees Centigrade and light to germinate. Once the Prairie Gentian have grown to a height of about 15 cm transplant them into a sunny part of the garden with good drainage about 30 cm apart.

Caring for Eustoma Plants

If you require more Eustoma plants then they are best grown from seed. Once growing, young Prairie Gentian should be pinched to encourage branching and more blooms. It is important that the plants be kept very dry, though they can have an occasional light watering from below.