Although a perennial Eustoma is more usually grown as an annual in the garden.
Ideally they should be grown in areas that have hot summers.
Eustoma flower in the summer with double bell shaped flowers of purple, pink, or cream, atop an upright stem.
Plants can reach heights of 15 to 60 cm (6 to 24 inches), making them great to use in your borders.
Common names for Eustoma species include Prairie gentian and Lisianthus.
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 (68 to 72°F) and light to germinate.
Once the Eustoma plants have grown to a height of about 15 cm (6 inches) transplant them into a sunny part of the garden that has good drainage.
Space at about 30 cm (12 inches) apart.
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).
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10. UK Hardiness: Perennial H3: hardy to -5°C (23°F); Annual H7: below -20°C (-4°F)
Blooms: Spring or Summer.
Flower Details: Purple, blue, pink, cream, white, yellow. Bell-shaped. Rose-like. 7 cm (3 inches) diameter.
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. Soil pH 6.5 to 7.
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 Other members of this family include the Centaury.
If you require more Eustoma plants, then they are best grown from seed. Once growing, young Eustoma should be pinched to encourage branching and further blooms.
It is important that the plants be kept very dry, though they can have an occasional light watering from below.