Description of eustoma (lisianthus or Japanese rose), an overview of varieties, breeding methods, advice on planting, care, and the fight against dangerous diseases and pests. Eustoma is a very beautiful plant with a graceful flower shape, which is why it got its second name - the Japanese rose. The plant is known in Latin as Eustoma and belongs to the large gentian family. For this last feature, eustoma is sometimes also called lisianthus, from the Latin term lisianthus, which means bitter flower.
The habitat of eustoma is the southern part of the continent of North America, where the flower is found in the southern United States, the Isthmus of Panama and Mexico.
Description of Japanese rose
The main advantage of eustoma is its attractive appearance with large funnel-shaped leaves and flowers that can be velvety or regular. The shade of flowers is found in the most diverse, and their size in large-flowered species reaches 8 cm in diameter. The most common shades are white, lilac, pink, violet, white with a border of all kinds of colors, etc.
When lisianthus flowers are in a half-open state, their significant similarity with rosebuds is visible, which was the reason for the assignment of the second name. And at the moment of full disclosure, the eustoma flower becomes more like poppies. The stems are strong enough and can stretch up to 85 cm in height, starting to branch strongly from the central part. Because of this feature, even one plant can look like a full-fledged bouquet, on which sometimes 3-4 dozen flowers grow!
Each variety of eustoma has peduncles of considerable length, so the flowers are convenient to cut, and, by the way, after that they retain their beautiful appearance in a vase for a very long time. The decorative qualities of Lisianthus are so highly appreciated by everyone who sees this plant that it quickly became widespread throughout the world. In Holland, where, as you know, floriculture is put on the conveyor, eustoma confidently retains its leadership and is one of the ten most popular cut flowers.
Varieties of eustoma
There are more and more individual species and varieties of this beautiful plant from year to year. Not so long ago, seeds were available only to those who were engaged in professional cultivation of flowers, but now every amateur florist can purchase them without any difficulty. When buying, it should be borne in mind that all varieties are conventionally divided into two large groups - low and tall. The latter group is intended for growing in gardens, as well as for commercial purposes for cutting. Low-growing varieties are used as indoor crops and will decorate a home windowsill or balcony.
If a tall eustoma is bought for the garden, then preference should be given to annual plants, since biennial varieties require appropriate painstaking care and cultivation in equipped greenhouses.
By their type, flowers are divided into double and simple. The first ones look especially beautiful and impressive, so when choosing, you should take this moment into account. If you look at the shades of the colors themselves that are now available, then you can safely choose any one, since all the color options for lisianthus look simply amazing.
Of the interesting varieties available with us, two series can be distinguished - these are ABC F1 and Echo F1. The first includes Misty Blue, Pink, Blue Rome and Purple. In the second, Deep Blue, Champagne, Rose Picoti, etc. Each of these varieties is distinguished by strong and long shoots that adorn large flowers with an elegant double texture.
How to grow eustoma seedlings at home?
Eustoma is propagated exclusively by seeds. Attempts to use other common methods, unfortunately, fail in the overwhelming majority of cases. An adult plant negatively perceives any impact on the rhizome, therefore, the parts separated for reproduction die. Cutting is also ineffective, as the cut pieces die before they can take root.
Seed propagation is fairly easy, despite the fact that there is a common misconception that this procedure requires special knowledge or skills. The main thing is to create the necessary conditions and carefully maintain them for 1-2 months.
- Sowing seeds begin in winter, usually choosing its beginning or middle, since flowers appear in about 4-5 months from the moment the shoots appear. Therefore, if the planting begins in the spring, then the eustoma simply will not have time to bloom before the cold weather. Eustoma seeds are planted in small (50 gram) plastic cups, into which a mixture of wet peat soil with perlite or sand is added. You can use one of the ready-made substrates, for example, the soil that is sold for Saintpaulias is well suited. 4–5 seeds are placed in one glass, slightly pressing them into the earthen mixture. Such an economical distribution of seed material is explained quite simply, because after 1–1, 5 months they dive. After the seeds are planted, each cup is covered with a glass jar or bag to create the desired microclimate. A convenient alternative method for sowing seeds can be used. Some amateur flower growers plant them in a peat tablet pre-softened with water. You don't need to squeeze them in, just put the seeds in the hole, and the tablet itself is placed in a transparent container and covered. The advantage of this method is the complete absence of the likelihood of one of the common diseases or injury to the roots during transplantation.
- The conditions for germination are quite simple. It is required to provide a comfortable temperature at the level of 22-23 degrees Celsius. Usually it will take 10-20 days to get seedlings. After disembarkation, approximately on the 5th day, it is required to open the film or remove the cans to eliminate the likelihood of dangerous condensation. First, this airing is done for 10-15 minutes, then the time is gradually increased, adding another 10-15 minutes daily. As soon as this time period reaches 3 hours, the protective coating can be removed.
- Lighting during the first 2 months from the moment of planting the seeds should be scattered and bright. It is best to place glasses of eustoma seed on racks that are artificially illuminated with fluorescent lamps. Somewhere closer to the end of winter, that is, about 1, 5-2 months after the planting was made, their sprouts can be exposed on the windowsill, where there is most of the sun. If there are no special shelves at home, then you can simply carefully put the glasses with future seedlings in any convenient flat place and place a lamp with daylight above them.
- Watering the seeds in the first 2 months it is possible not to carry out, since the initially moistened soil and the shelter made of polyethylene / glass will be enough to provide a sufficient level of moisture. Moreover, due to the temperature difference, condensation forms on the inside of the shelter, therefore, the film that covers the seedlings must be periodically removed and turned inside out. In this case, nevertheless, control over the state of the soil should be carried out, if it is noticeable that it is very dry, then you can pour in a little water, carefully adding it along the edges of the glass. Preventive measures against seedling disease. To prevent the occurrence of various diseases, eustoma can be watered with Fundazole.To prepare the solution, you need to dilute 1 teaspoon of Fundazole per liter of water. Then the plant should be watered with this composition no more than 1 time per week. Of the additional measures, it is recommended to spray the seedlings once with a solution of zircon or epin. This will prevent the possibility of blackleg disease and help the sprouts grow stronger.
- Picking. After planting the seeds, they wait about 1–1.5 months until the seedlings harden, after which they are seated in separate cups. The picking process is simple, but it requires care. Usually it is carried out with the help of a thin awl, with which the eustoma sprouts are gently pryed, taking them out of the ground. The sprout is planted in a separate cup, where a small depression is made beforehand. The seedling is placed so that the leaves are flush with the ground, after which the ground, which should be pre-watered, is gently pressed from the sides, fixing the eustoma sprout. After completing these steps, the plant is covered with a plastic bag and left for 1, 5-2 weeks.
Planting eustoma seedlings on the street and at home
It is better to plant eustoma seedlings in the garden in the evening, carefully moving the plant along with the earthy clod into previously prepared and watered holes. Deepening must be done so that after planting, the Lisianthus was at the same level that it had in the pots. After finishing planting, you should cover each plant. For these purposes, plastic bottle cuts are well suited, which help to retain heat and moisture, protecting the seedlings from frost. In such a covered form, eustoma grows for about 3 weeks.
The choice of a landing site should be carried out according to the level of illumination. Lisianthus loves to grow in the sun, and its flowers will be a worthy decoration of the garden. Therefore, you can safely choose the sunniest and most noticeable place. There is no need to specially prepare the soil, since the chernozems common in our country are excellent for growing Japanese roses.
Planting in pots for indoor floriculture is usually carried out in early March. To do this, they stock up in advance in pots, the diameter of which is about 8 cm. You can take a larger size, but it has been proven that eustoma likes to grow in a small space. The bottom of the pot is filled with any compound that will provide good drainage. For such purposes, zeolite, expanded clay or even foam can be used.
Recommendations for the care of eustoma
- Watering. Lisianthus is afraid of abundant watering, so it is important not to overdo it with this moment. Watering the plant should be guided by the condition of the soil, providing a moderate flow of water for it as it dries. During the flowering period, it is important to ensure that drops of water do not fall into the buds and the flowers themselves, as this can contribute to the formation of putrefactive processes and spoil the appearance of such a beautiful plant like eustoma.
- Top dressing. Fertilizing the soil can be started from the moment the seedlings are rooting. This usually happens about 25-30 days after disembarkation. Top dressing is carried out using any good mineral fertilizer intended for flowers and readily soluble in water. For example, “Plantafol” has proven itself well in everyday life. If you opt for this type of fertilizer, then you can first use Plantafol Growth, which contains a large amount of nitrogen in its composition. In July and August, you can already switch to "Plantafol Budding", where there is less nitrogen, but more useful phosphorus during the flowering period. Instead of "Plantafol", you can use the varieties of fertilizer "Kemira", as well as any other quality options. The main thing is not to overdo it in the feeding process. Eustoma is undemanding to the intensive application of nutrients and does not like acidic soils, therefore, it is better to apply the main types of fertilizers in a concentration that will be less than that recommended by the manufacturer.
Flowering and collecting seeds from eustoma
The flowering period, if the seeds were planted in December, begins in the second half of July and lasts until October inclusive. In anticipation of the appearance of the first flowers, the eustoma begins to branch out in the middle of the stem, as a result of which several dozen buds are formed on it. When they open, many beautiful and large enough flowers appear on one stem, which are pleasing to the eye. If you do not cut flowers for a vase, then you can admire each Lisianthus for 1, 5-2 months! But even if you put the plant in a vase, then in the water it starts to take root and blooms again! But the likelihood of the reappearance of flowers on the street directly depends on the climate. If the autumn is warm for a long time, then the eustoma will delight you with beautiful flowers for a long time.
Seeds are harvested in late autumn after the eustoma has faded and characteristic bolls have formed on it. Not all types of Japanese rose produce equally good seeds that will have a high germination rate. For these purposes, it is best to select varieties from the hybrid series under the F1 marking. They have beautiful flowers and a large number of good quality seeds. Plants of the first and second generations are suitable for collecting seeds, from the third it is better not to take them, since they will have many obvious and usually negative differences in comparison with the original type of parental eustoma. Flowers planted from second generation seeds will also have some differences, but usually they are quite insignificant.
Fight against diseases and pests of eustoma
To prevent the occurrence of various unpleasant diseases of lisianthus, due attention should be paid to preventive measures in the form of timely treatment with fungicides. In rainy periods, it is extremely important to spray the plant with Fundazol or Ridomil Gold, which protect it from major diseases. Among the latter are: powdery mildew, gray rot, fusarium, etc. In prevention with the help of chemicals, it is allowed to use an integrated approach, alternating 2-3 different drugs.
Of the pests, the main harm is caused by the whitefly, aphids and slugs. To ward off these parasites from beautiful flowers in your garden, you can use the following insecticides: Aktellik, Aktara, Konfidor, Fitoverm.
More information on growing eustoma in this video: