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I absolutely adore lisianthus but have had great difficulty obtaining seeds/seedlings here in Oz. At the Melbourne Garden Show earlier this year I came across a supplier and purchased 6 (six!! it was exciting!! I would have bought more but had no way to carry them :( ). He gave me information on their upkeep and I thought here might be the best place to confirm that I am doing everything right. His advice.
Lisianthus is a tender perennial flower that is often grown as an annual. Featuring large purple and white bell-shaped flowers with flaring lobes that bloom on one or more upright stems, lisanthus is somewhat finicky to grow, but the effort is clearly worthwhile for anyone interested in cut flower work. It is often celebrated as a flower that looks like a rose but lasts longer in the vase and is in great demand for bridal bouquets and other special-occasion flower arrangements. Lisianthus plants are most commonly available in white, pink, purple, and cream, but you may occasionally see yellow or red flowering plants for sale. The flower's foliage is dark green and lance-shaped, and slightly succulent in texture. In its usual use as an annual garden flower, lisianthus planted from seeds grows slowly, reaching flowering maturity in five to six months. Thus, most gardeners plant them from commercial nursery plants that were started from seed in greenhouses the previous fall so they will erupt in fluttery, layered blooms in spring.
Your best bet is to plant nursery starts in spring, carefully choosing lisianthus plants with buds or flowers already emerging (even greenhouse growers can sometimes produce plants that favor foliage over flowers). But understand that lisianthus has earned its reputation as a fussy plant, Ideal soil, careful watering, precise feeding, frequent staking—these are the ingredients for growing lisianthus plants with the perfect flower stalks that are so prized by floral arranging hobbyists. Keep your lisianthus plants moist, but never allow them to remain soggy. Overwatering your plant can encourage the development of fungal diseases. If you have the time to create one, a drip irrigation system can be ideal for giving your plants water at their roots, right where they need it. The plant's soil should be allowed to dry out in between waterings, but don't let the plants themselves dry out. Getting the irrigation timing correct can be a challenge when growing lisianthus. About 1/2 inch of rainfall/irrigation per week is fairly ideal for lisianthus. (Source: www.thespruce.com)