Browallia speciosa comes from Colombia, forms a bushy plant of bright- to dark-green leaves, set with innumerable white-throated violet-blue flowers.
Browallia also is known by the common names of:
- Sapphire flower
- Amethyst flower
- Bush violet
Browallia [bro-WAHL-ee-uh], is also sometimes pronounced [bro-WAY-lee-uh].
However, the plant is named for John Browall [bro-WAHL], making the first pronunciation the correct one.
The Browallia plant belongs to the Solanaceae family, known also as the nightshades, and includes a wide variety of popular fruits and vegetables, such as eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes.
The delicate amethyst flower is not a fruit or vegetable. It is used as an ornamental in gardens or grown indoors as a potted houseplant.
While it is a small plant, it produces colorful flowers and features bright green foliage.
How Do You Grow Browallia?
The Browallia is a small plant. It typically only achieves a height and spread of about 12” to 16” inches.
The foliage is a medium-green color and grows in mounds and clumps, makes it a great choice for ground cover and containers.
It should fill your container nicely, unless you decide to keep the plant trimmed back.
When Does Browallia Flower?
Flowering starts in June about four months after they are typically planted.
While you only get a few flowers per plants, they last throughout the season. In fact, the flowers may remain through September.
If you purchase plants for their fragrances, you may be disappointed to learn that the Browallia does not produce a scent.
Does Browallia Grow In Full Sun?
When grown indoors, avoid direct sunlight. The plant needs plenty of sunshine, but the direct sunlight can burn the leaves.
However, direct sunlight is okay when grown outdoors.
The temperature should not be an issue. This is a hardy plant that is easy to care for.
If you choose to grow sapphire flowers indoors, it should remain healthy when kept in a room temperature room.
Watering and Feeding Browillia
The Browallia needs watering throughout the year. You can check the soil every few days. If the soil feels dry, add some water.
Fertilizer is recommended with each watering. It delivers beneficial nutrients to help your plant thrive.
TIP: Mist indoor Browallia during the summer to give it a boost of hydration.
Soil and Transplanting: A combination of healthy potting soil and sand should provide optimal drainage for this plant.
It may be purchased just before the buds start to open or you may purchase seed.
When growing from seed, sow in February if you want the plant to flower by the summer.
The temperature should be between 70° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit. You should also provide the seeds with plenty of sunlight.
The seeds should be placed in a tray and covered with plastic or glass.
It typically takes about two weeks for the seeds to germinate.
Once the develop When the seeds grow, place four seedlings in a three to four-inch pot.
As it is an annual, repotting is not common with the Browallia. Most people toss this plant at the end of the year, as the flowers die off and the plant begins to wilt.
To extend the flowering season, remove withered flowers. You should get more clusters of flowers and they may last longer.
Some growers also pinch the tops of the plants when they are young to keep them from getting too long and straggly.
This is not required unless you want to keep the growth under control.
How to Propagate Browallia
The only way to propagate Browallia is by seed. You can attempt to collect the seeds from dried leaves. However, this is a difficult task.
The easiest solution is to purchase seed packets and sow from seed using the tips described.
Remember to cover your tray or pot with plastic or glass to help keep the seeds moist.
Pests, Diseases, On Browallia
If you notice that the leaves start to look marbled and the veins turn yellow, the plant may have contracted a virus. Unfortunately, there is no saving the plant.
Aphids may feed on the younger leaves. The easiest solution is to gently wash them away in your kitchen sink.
Leaf miners, spider mites and whiteflies may also attack plants.
Pay attention to the health of the plant and adjust your watering or placement as needed.
For example, if the leaves start to droop, you need to use more water. If the base of the plant begins to water, you need to use less water.
However, if the base is already black, your plant is probably beyond saving.
What Are the Most Popular Sapphire Varieties?
The varieties of Browallia come in different sizes and colors. Some of these varieties only grow 10 inches tall, while others may reach two feet. The most popular varieties include:
- Endless™ Illumination Series
- Bells Series
- Troll Series
What is the Best Use For Browallia?
Browallia is not a large plant. It may help add color to a window sill, but it looks best when paired with other plants in a large container or garden.
This undemanding Sapphire plant is a good choice for hanging baskets.
For long-lasting color in summer and fall, Browallia is one of the best. A perfect addition as a patio plant.