The violet-blue blooms of this plant, sometimes known as the bush violet, are carried in the leaf axils of slender semitrailing stems. They are trumpet-shaped, opening out to a flat-faced bloom about 2in/5cm wide, and have an attractive white throat.
Plants, which are also grown as summer annuals, may be bought in flower from midsummer right through the fall and winter; winter-flowering plants are popular. The rather drooping foliage is ovate and mid green.
Stems can be supported by thin stakes to give a bushy plant, or they can be allowed to trail gracefully. The tips of the stems should be pinched off regularly to keep the plant reasonably compact.
Browallias are difficult to keep in good condition for a further flowering season and are usually discarded once flowering has finished.
Browallia speciosa ‘Blue Troll,’ with a compact habit, and B.s. ‘White Troll,’ its counterpart with white flowers, are the most popular varieties.
FACT FILE Solanaceae Browallia speciosa
HEIGHT To 2ft/60cm.
POTTING MIX Soil-based.
REPOTTING Not usually done.
PROPAGATION Easily grown from seed sown in spring or summer.
KEEPING PLANTS Discard after flowering.
Browallia speciosa ‘Major’ Solanaceae PaPPHIRE FLOWER PLANT CARE
- Bright light with some direct sun.
- Prefers cool conditions of 50°-60°F/10°-16°C.
- Keep the soil just moist and mist the foliage occasionally.
- Apply a standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks throughout the flowering period.
- Remove flowers as they fade.
To extend the flowering period, pick off the flowers as they fade.
The slender stems often need staking to produce a bushy, upright plant.
Keeping the plant in a cool room will help the flowers to last as long as possible.