The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Lisianthus

Question: I grew 'Prairie Mix' Lisianthus this year. They've all flourished, and everyone is simply thrilled with them. I have read the information on starting them from seed, and that they are biennials, grown as weak perrenials, or annuals, but I would still like to know if I can use the plants I have in my garden next Spring. I usually get my seeds and cuttings started indoors in late February or early March.

Answer: I believe the Lisianthus (Eustoma species) sold by Burpee is the annual type. Annuals and biennials are physiologically programmed to die after producing seed. You can certainly save the seed, though! Sprinkle seeds on the soil surface in flats, and press them in, since they require light to germinate. Germination takes 10 days to 3 weeks given temperatures between 65-75F. Keep the seedlings very close to the growlights (within an inch), since these prairie natives won't grow well without intense light. Keep soil evenly moist with a plastic cover over the flat, or by using a capillary matting. Best of luck!

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