Answer: Lisianthus, or Eustoma, is native to the high plains of the West, but garden forms have been introduced from Japan. Although plants are considered hardy annuals, they grow better and have longer stems where nights are warm.
Lisianthus take quite a while to begin blooming, so I suggest you try cutting some back, but leaving some unpruned. The pruning will delay flowering, so this technique will give you some early flowers, and some bushier plants with more, but later, flowers. Set the plants out after the last expected frost; they should bloom all summer until a hard frost if old blooms are cut off.
Cut when the flowers have begun to unfold, preferably in the morning or evening. Dip the stem ends in boiling water, then let them stand in deep water for a few hours. Treated in this manner, the cut flowers can stay fresh looking for up to three weeks in a vase.
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