If you haven’t heard of lisianthus before, let me introduce you to your new favorite flower!
Lisianthus–my favorite flower that looks like a rose, but is not a rose. In fact, lisianthus are better than roses, because they have no thorns! Among other, nerdier, flower farmer reasons.
Ruffly and full-flowered, delicate yet sturdy, lisianthus are nothing short of amazing. Every year when lisianthus season comes around, I am just so humbled by their beauty, and proud that I could grow something so lovely.
Though they blossom into the most beautiful flowers, lisianthus have quite a journey from seed to bloom.
Lisianthus are difficult and slow to start from seed, taking 7 months (!) to bloom after sowing. They are notoriously difficult to germinate and must be carefully coddled for months inside under lights in the dead of winter until they can be moved outside.
To increase our chances of success with our lisis, we order them as plugs (wee baby seedlings) in March. We bump the baby lisianthus up into bigger living quarters and grow them on indoors until the weather warms up enough to plant them out in April.
Because we buy them in as plugs, lisianthus are a more costly flower for us to grow, so we treat them as VIPs as much as possible.
Many flower farmers plant their lisianthus inside a greenhouse, to protect the delicate petals from damaging summer rains, and/or shade cloth to shield them from searing summer sun.
We don’t have enough greenhouse space to grow ours under cover, so we grow ours out in the field. It’s mostly all right! Though we do sometimes lose blooms to the elements.
One year, after getting a “t minus 10 minutes” tornado alert on my phone, I did a mad dash to harvest hundreds of lisianthus stems before the storm hit. The things we do for flowers!
Despite their delicate appearance they have a fantastic vase life, sometimes lasting 10 days or more.
Lisianthus also hold up well out of water, making them my go-to flower for wedding installations and items like boutonnieres and flower crowns.
Can we also talk about how amazing some of these lisianthus varieties are?? This year we’ve tried some new ones that are just leaving me speechless! Give me all the ruffled petals and subtle colors.
In particular, this year we’ve tried a new series called “Little Summer,” that comes in yellow, pink, and “orange” (it’s peach). Look how these three all share the same flower shape:
Lisianthus season is fairly short, and they really are the best flowers! My advice? Dive headlong into lisianthus and don’t look back 😉
Samantha is the owner of Sea Change Farm & Flower.
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