Big Fan of Fanflowers

It was somewhere back around 1990. The years slip by in my mind, but Crump’s Garden Center north of McKinney was sponsoring my radio program, and I was out on a sales call/buying spree. (My sales calls always ended up that way.)

With sweet alyssum and New Blue Wonder fanflower you’re two-thirds of the way to a 4th of July celebration of white-and-blue.

My friend the late Joe Crump came up to me like a proud new dad. “Neil! You’ve gotta see this new plant we just got in. It’s called fanflower or Scaevola. It’s from Australia, and wait ‘til you see the color. It’s called ‘Blue Wonder.’ They’re selling fast.”

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Well, I fell in love with the plant right away. It was obviously a great hanging basket, but I could see it growing in a large decorative pot on a patio or entryway, and that’s exactly how I used the first several I bought that morning. Right out of the baskets and into big pots. And then I planted 4-inch pots of it as a trailing, ground-covering annual flower in the front of a color bed. I’ve been growing it ever since.

Beauty abounds when you combine the gold of Dahlberg daisies with blue of fanflowers.

Facts you’ll want to know…
Consider these things about fanflower as you plant it this year.
It grows to 8-10 inches tall and 20-24 inches wide.
It prefers partial sun. Maybe a little shade in the hottest part of mid-afternoon.
Well-draining, highly organic planting soil that is kept moist at all times.
Fertilize it with a high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food every few weeks. It grows assertively and will benefit from regular feedings.
It is rarely visited by insects or diseases.
Blue types such as ‘New Blue Wonder’ and others make the best display. Pink types are novelties that really don’t carry their weight in the landscape. White types are OK, but we have plenty of white flowers already.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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