En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - October 24, 2005

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Care of Florida Blue or Lisiantus in Houston
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm in Houston, Texas and I'm growing, for the first time, Florida blues, Eustoma, purple. Since I am from California I'm not familiar with this plant. It's beautiful. How do I care for them in pots during our winter?

ANSWER:

Florida Blue or Lisianthus is the cultivated version of the bluebell gentian or Texas gentian (Eustoma exaltatum, synonym=Eustoma grandiflorum). Another common name is Prairie gentian. Although the wild version is an annual or biennial, the cultivated version is a perennial. Your Florida Blue should do quite well outside in the usually very mild winter of Houston. You can add mulch around it to give it added protection. The wild version survives winters in USDA Zones 8-10. Houston is in Zone 9

However, if you prefer to grow it inside, you need to keep it in a sunny place in a pot with adequate drainage. It will require frequent watering, but needs good drainage to prevent root rot. You can read more about the care of your Florida Blue on the Lisianthus Discussion Page. University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center has more information about "Bedding and Potted Plant Production" of Lisianthus.

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Choosing large containers (pots) for plants in Dallas, Texas.
May 24, 2007 - Hi, I was wondering if you could help me pick a plant for a container garden. We live in Dallas, TX. Our soil is very clay, but I thought we could do something fun in containers with sand or something...
view the full question and answer

Care of a sedum indoors
December 16, 2007 - I have a coworker who has trusted her Sedum Burrito plant into my care because it is not doing well in her office. It appears to need repotting, as it is very crowded in the pot it came in and is dif...
view the full question and answer

Non-native house plants stressed from Allen TX
July 30, 2011 - I have three house plants that were plants I received from my father's funeral services. They were healthy for about two years and then we added some soil and now they are turning brown and appear t...
view the full question and answer

Moving potted plants from California to Georgetown TX
February 10, 2012 - Hi, I am moving from Gilroy CA to Georgetown TX, I have many potted plants I would love to take with me but I am not sure what would survive in my new location. These plants have been cared for so ma...
view the full question and answer

Pill bugs in potted plants in Atlanta GA
June 14, 2013 - Hello, I repotted four aloe vera plants two days ago with a cacti soil and watered them thoroughly in terra cotta pots according to directions on the bag. Well the next morning the pots had pill bug...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center