Lisianthus Forever is a comprehensive video class on growing premium Lisianthus for cut flowers. Bailey Hale encourages growers to "think like a plant" to understand what this spectacular bloom needs to thrive, distilling his decades of floriculture and floral design experience into this 70-minute seminar.
Whether you grow from seed or order plugs, Lisianthus Forever delivers insight into timing, transplant, disease and pest prevention, harvest practices and advanced techniques to level up your flower quality and profit margin.
Hundreds of questions and honest feedback from Lisianthus growers went into the creation of this class, and we thank everyone who submitted. If your question was not answered by the video and linked Resources, drop a note to the team at email@example.com!
|Introduction by Thomas McCurdy
|Bailey Hale, Thomas McCurdy and Ardelia Farm
|Plug Broker Farmer Bailey
|What's So Great About Lisianthus?
|Native Range & Conditions
|Classification of Modern Hybrids
|Sakata Lisianthus Production Tutorial (technical guide)
|Plug Grower Tour
|A Plug's Life from Seed to Ship (video tour of Gro 'n Sell)
|Plug Ordering and Timing
|Transplant and Spacing
How to Care for Plugs on Arrival (blog post)
How to: Harden Off Plugs for Transplant (blog post)
|Diseases, Fusarium, Thrips
|Fungicides and BioFungicides
BioWorks (maker of RootShield) document on Utilizing Dips (technical guide)
|Water and Fertilizer
|Sakata Ornamentals culture sheet for Eustoma Rosita (technical guide)
|Pinching and Harvest Extension
|Cornell Topping Trial
|Harvest and Post Harvest
|Post Harvest Science and Secrets (video)
|Second Flush and Overwintering
|How to Prepare Plants for Extreme Cold Snaps (blog post)
|Lugt Lisianthus, Netherlands
|Questions & Answers
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prevent Thrips?
Thrips are best controlled by prevention with beneficial insects. Begin applying beneficial insects before plants bud up. Neoseiulus cucumeris and Amblyseius swirskii are two predatory mites that crawl around looking for thrips babies to eat. They are very easy to apply. Check with a biological supplier near you to see what they offer. You will need several deliveries of them, so it helps to work with a company close to home to save on shipping.
When should I cut my Lisianthus?
You cut Lisianthus fully open. After that first flower is removed, or fades, the second tier of flowers will open. Once those are fully colored it's okay to cut. Or if you don't get to them until the third tier is open, that's okay too. You can always trim off any older blooms. I think the sweet spot is when that second tier is fully open and the third tier is starting to color up a bit.
Cut them back to just a couple of leaves, probably about 1" tall. They will sprout again from the base.
How much should I charge for Lisianthus?
There is no standard, one-size-fits-all pricing for Lisianthus, partially due to the lack of a centralized flower auction in America. They are often sold by the stem, since a well-grown stem will bear multiple blooms. You can consult your local floral wholesaler's list to see what Lisianthus is going for in your home market.
In Vermont circa summer 2022, premium quality Lisianthus sold briskly at $7 per stem. Your bloom quality determines your price, and well-grown Lisianthus is irresistible to floral designers.
To get a sense of where your prices should be, calculate your costs, labor, and yields. Lennie Larkin's book Flower Farming For Profit provides a complete guide to pricing your flowers. Read a sample chapter on pricing and order your copy, here.
Bud Removal (advanced technique)
See 00:52:31 of Lisianthus Forever for a description of bud removal.
I need to make a video explaining this, but let me try in words.
This would apply to the large "Fringe" types.
1. As soon as you see the first bud forming, pinch it out. This will send more "energy" (aka carbohydrates) to the second tier of buds.
2. When that second tier has buds around the size of a small grape, select 3 or 4 buds that all look healthy and like they are at the same stage of development. 4 seems to be as many as the stem will support, so remove additional fat buds if you have more than 4. If you have a flower or two that are further along, remove them as you want the whole stem to bloom at the same time. The goal is to find 3 or 4 great looking buds that are at a very similar stage of development.
3. By the time these "chosen" buds are approaching grape size, they will have several more buds floating above them. Cut off the smallest of, leaving the 3 or 4 closest to your chosen buds. These won't fully develop, but they are a backup in case something happens to the chosen flowers, you will still have a chance at a harvest.
4. Harvest when the "chosen" buds are fully open, and the back up buds are nice and swollen. They may not fully open, but they add interest. If you somehow damage the chosen flower you can harvest a bit later when the backup bud is open.
It's a lot of work, but it is certainly possible to grow the same quality in the US as they grow in Japan. They have modest tunnels and facilities in Japan but they are very meticulous in their growing and pay a great deal of attention to every step in the process.
Try a few this year and see what you think!