The easy-care fan flower for the balcony
If you toy with the idea of taking care of your balcony greening yourself, it can be overwhelming at first. Many plants and flowers require well thought-out care, specific soils, or a certain know-how when planting. The fan flower is different; this summer flower is usually bought early in the garden center, feels at home in commercially available potting soil, and is also generally very easy to care for when it comes to watering and fertilizer.
We'll show you everything you need to know about the fan flower and also give you an alternative if you simply don't have the time to take care of the plants on your balcony.
Fan flower on the balcony: origin and varieties
The fan flower, called Scaevola in botany, belongs to the Goodenium family. Originally it comes from the region around Australia, Tasmania, and Polynesia. There are around 70 - 130 varieties of the fan flower worldwide, but only the blue fan flower (Scaevola aemula) is cultivated here. The summer flower got its name from the arrangement of its five radiating petals, which are reminiscent of a fan. Depending on the variety, it forms violet to deep blue flowers. The fan flower is usually offered commercially as an annual balcony flower and usually blooms from May to October.
Where does the fan flower grow on the balcony?
Since the fan flower originally comes from the tropical and subtropical areas of Australia, it feels best in a warm, sunny location. It thrives best on a south-west or south-east-facing balcony or terrace. If you can't offer it such a place, you don't have to do without the fan flower: It also grows in a place in partial shade. But the more sun it gets, the more of its lush, hanging flowers it produces. However, it does not tolerate a location in the blazing midday sun either.
Can you plant fan flowers yourself?
In principle, the fan flower, like any plant, can be propagated by planting. However, botanists recommend amateur gardeners not to take care of the planting themselves, as the process is very lengthy and time-consuming. For this reason, the seeds of the fan flower are not commercially available.
Young plants are raised in special establishments using growth retardants to prevent whiplash growth. In addition, the plants have to be constantly pruned during their cultivation phase, which lasts at least 2.5 months and can be relatively difficult and time-consuming for hobby gardeners. Laypersons are also advised not to propagate using top cuttings, as this can only succeed in a seed box with a very humid and warm climate - such an environment is also predestined for mold growth. Play it safe and simply get young plants from specialist retailers.
Repotting fan flowers for the balcony
Although it is advisable to use young fan flowers from the hardware store or garden center, since the growth of the summer flower depends heavily on the available volume of soil, these young plants must be repotted immediately after purchase. A fan flower should have at least a volume of 2 to 3 liters of soil available, since less soil drastically increases the maintenance effort. When repotting, you should follow the following steps:
- Submerge the nursery pot in a bucket of water to ensure the fan flower's root ball is completely damp.
- Put a drainage layer of sand or expanded clay in the pot or balcony box to prevent waterlogging. Important: The water drainage hole must remain free.
- Use potting soil that is good at retaining moisture and nutrients.
- Take the fan flower out of the pot and place it in the new container.
- Put the soil in the container and press it down lightly with your hands.
- After repotting, you should water the plant well.
Since the fan flower does not tolerate frost, it should only be placed in the fresh air after the ice saints in May, this will ensure that it does not die due to freezing temperatures just before summer. If you intend to expose them earlier or if it gets cold again, it makes sense to protect the plant with fleece.
Fan flowers on the balcony: Care and fertilization
The fan flower is relatively easy to care for, so cultivation is also suitable for beginners. In addition to the volume of soil, the location, exposure to sunlight, need-based watering, and regular fertilization play a particularly important role in growth.
In order to guarantee a rich bloom and constant growth, the fan flower on the balcony must be regularly supplied with water. It is important that waterlogging is always avoided and that the soil is given time to dry between waterings. Maintenance requirements can be reduced by using high volume containers, water reservoirs, or drip irrigation. At best, fan flowers are watered in the morning so that the flower has moisture available early in the day. Basically, it is better to keep the fan flower too dry than too wet, since it tolerates short periods of heat well due to its origin, while waterlogging has a negative effect on its growth.
Fan flowers have a high nutrient requirement. It is therefore advisable to add a long-term fertilizer, fertilizer sticks, or horn shavings to the substrate when repotting, so that the basic supply of the hanging plant is ensured. To further promote vitality and flowering, a liquid fertilizer with guano should be used every 4 - 6 weeks. From June, the flowering of the fan flower can be additionally supported with an iron supplement every two weeks. It is not necessary to clean out or cut back the fan flower, as faded flowers fall off by themselves.
Which pests can attack the fan flower on the balcony?
If the fan flower is placed in a suitable location and is also optimally cared for, it is usually very robust against pests. However, if the conditions are not optimal, an infestation with leaf miners and aphids can occur. However, these pests can be controlled with the right insecticides.
In rare cases, the fan flower can also be affected by a fungal disease. However, combating this Verticillium wilt is extremely difficult. Affected parts of the plant must be removed immediately, and replacing the soil may also help. The chance of healing the fungal disease of the fan flower is still quite low, even if these tips are followed.
Can you overwinter fan flowers?
Although the fan flower is sold in specialist shops as an annual garden and balcony flower, overwintering is quite possible, especially if it is kept in the balcony box. Since the summer flower does not tolerate cold, it is essential that it moves into its winter quarters in the apartment or house before the first frost. A bright location and a temperature between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius is ideal. However, it is not necessarily recommended to hibernate the fan flower: Since in its second year it is not quite as floriferous as in the first year, it makes sense to buy new young plants every season and place them on the balcony.
Practical balcony flowers from The Plant Box
Even if the fan flower is very easy to care for and therefore well suited for beginners, not everyone has the time and leisure to take care of the balcony planting themselves. If you still want to enjoy beautiful, fragrant shrubs and flowers on your balcony, The Plant Box has the solution for you! We put together well thought-out plant and flower arrangements and conveniently send them to your home. All you have to do is place them in your balcony box, giving you more time to enjoy the pretty flowers. Bring home the fan flower in the Bee Bee Box !
The advantages with The Plant Box:
- Cleverly combined plant arrangements for your balcony box
- Sustainably and regionally produced seasonal flowers and shrubs
- Large selection of different boxes
- Perfect for this: our balcony box made from recycled materials
Is one plant box not enough for you, or do you wish for more variety? Then come to our Plant Lovers Club! You can choose five different boxes from our range and they will always be delivered to your home at the right time - boredom excluded!