I received a basket of beautiful purple and lilac lisianthus plants for Mother's Day, and I wonder, when they have finished, can I plant them out in the garden beds? If so, will they flower next year, or do I have to take seeds to grow afresh? If I have to take seeds, do they appear from flower heads and are they just bedding plants and not perennials?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, you can plant them out in your garden once you are past all chance of frost.
Lisianthus are grown as a perennial in gardening zones 7-11, and as an annual everywhere else, since the winter will kill them in colder zones. Even in zones 7 and 8, the plant requires protection during the winter (being cut back and having straw placed over it), since it is sensitive to even mild winters.
Yes, it is possible to collect seeds from Lisianthus. This article explains how:
In colder areas, another possibility is to dig the plants up and keep them as houseplants during the winter.