The charming fairy fan flowers (Scaevola aemula) make a friendly contribution to care by cleaning their own blue and purple flower spikes.
This undemanding frugality lets us relax about the Australian immigrant’s lack of winter hardiness. The exotic fairy fan flower presents itself uncomplicated on the balcony and terrace.
Planting Fairy Fan Flowers Properly
Do not leave freshly acquired fairy fan flowers in their pots but plant them immediately in the tub or balcony box.
Use high-quality soil for container plants as substrate, which you should optimize with leaf compost and lava granules. If rhododendron soil is readily available, add a handful or two to give the substrate the desired, slightly acidic pH.
Continue with the following steps:
- Cover the soil opening with shards of clay for drainage.
- Spread an air- and water-permeable fleece over it so that the material does not silt up.
- Fill in a layer of the substrate mixture.
- Place the potted fairy fan flowers in the soil at a distance of 8 inches (20 cm) and water them.
You also want to make sure that the young plants do not go deeper into the soil than the lower pair of leaves. Then, press the substrate lightly with your hands and use soft water for watering.
You can’t tell from their picturesque florets that fairy fan flowers require only a little care. In fact, the few cultivation measures can be counted on one hand:
- Water with soft water during dry spells.
- Apply liquid fertilizing every 14 days from April to August.
- Overcome a summer flowering break with light pruning.
- Cut the shoots and tendrils by half or two thirds before putting them away.
- Water them occasionally in light winter quarters at 50-59 °F (10-15 °C).
In addition to this basic program, repot the ornamental plant in early spring, provided that the previous planter is completely rooted.
Which Location is Suitable for Fairy Fan Flowers?
It is best to place fairy fan flowers in a sunny to semi-shaded location. The robust ornamental plant will also tolerate a windy location or a place that is showered by the summer rain.
The main condition for lush flowering is the observance of the minimum temperature of 54-59 °F (12-15 °C).
What Kind of Soil Do Fairy Fan Flowers Need?
Fairy fan flowers need humic, well-drained soil. Therefore, choose quality potting soil with a small amount of peat.
Since the exotic beauty favors a slightly acidic pH, enrich the substrate with leaf or needle compost and add some lava granules instead of sand.
When is Flowering Time for Fairy Fan Flowers?
The fairy fan flower displays its waterfall-like flower spikes from May to October. You can save yourself the trouble of pruning out this Goodeniacea plant because it takes care of that on its own.
If the blooms fade in the middle of the season, cut the plant back by a third or half. This will be followed by fresh sprouting, which will continue into the fall.
Pruning the Fairy Fan Flower Properly
Although the fairy fan flower independently cleans itself of withered flowers, garden scissors still do not go unused.
Cut back the shoots and tendrils by a third after the first 3 weeks in culture. The fairy fan flower will reward this effort with a special abundance of flowers and rich branching.
If the ornamental plant suddenly takes a break from flowering in the summer, pruning by half will give it fresh strength for renewed budding.
Before moving to winter quarters cut back the fairy fan flower vigorously.
Watering the Fairy Fan Flower
Do not water your fairy fan flowers until the surface of the substrate has dried thoroughly. A quick finger test will provide proof that it needs watering.
Add soft rainwater or decalcified water directly to the root disc. If the first drops run out of the bottom opening, the current water requirement has been met.
Empty the saucer after 10-15 minutes to prevent waterlogging.
Fertilizing Fairy Fan Flower Properly
When it comes to nutrient needs, the fairy fan flower proves to be modest. Administer a liquid fertilizer for bog plants every 14 days from May to August.
These preparations are adapted to the desire for a slightly acidic soil value. If you run a worm compost on your balcony, treat the plant to organic vermicompost every 2 weeks.
Wintering a Fairy Fan Flower
If the temperature falls below the 50 °F (10 °C) mark in the fall, the fairy fan flower needs to relocate to its winter quarters.
Before that, cut the tendrils by two-thirds and remove withered foliage. In a bright location at 50-59 °F (10-15 °C), water the evergreen plant from time to time. The root ball should not dry out in any case.
From September to March, do not fertilize to avoid premature budding.
Propagating Fairy Fan Flowers
In terms of propagation, fairy fan flowers prove to be somewhat stubborn. The attempt of sowing is rarely successful. Moreover, the propagation of cuttings rarely goes smoothly.
If you want to dare the experiment, proceed as follows:
- In early summer, cut off non-flowering head cuttings with a length of 2-3 inches (5-7 cm).
- Defoliate the cuttings except for a pair of leaves at the tip and dip them in rooting powder.
- Place the cuttings in small pots filled with lean growing medium.
- Keep them constantly slightly moist at 68-72 °F (20-22 °C) in a heatable mini-greenhouse.
To prevent mold from forming in the warm and humid microclimate, air the seed tray extensively every day. Fresh sprouting signals that rooting is successful.
How Do I Repot a Fairy Fan Flower Properly?
If the fairy fan flower has survived the winter well, repot it in a fresh substrate for a vitalizing effect. However, this measure is only absolutely necessary when the previous planting container is completely rooted.
In March/April, pot up the Scaevola aemula and shake off the discarded soil. In the new pot, place a clay shard over the bottom opening to fill in the first layer of potted plant soil above it.
Then press a hollow into it with your fist. Place the plant in the fresh soil, maintaining the previous planting depth, and water with soft water.
Your exotic beauty will be allowed to recover from this stress in a semi-shaded, warm window spot.
- Diamond: A beautiful, spherical shaped variety, whose white flowers are decorated with a pale blue border.
- Topaz Pink: A premium variety with extra large flowers in bright pink and tendrils up to 24 inches (60 cm) long.
- Top poT White: An elegant fairy fan flower whose white flowers contrast beautifully with colored species.
- Royal Blue: A royal flower decoration for the balcony with bright blue flowers waterfall.
- Blue Wonder: A agnificent Scaevola aemula with violet-blue flowers over emerald green foliage.