Gentian bush: tips for proper care

Gentian bush: tips for proper care

Plant the gentian bush properly

You can plant a gentian tree that you have bought or grown yourself in a large container. The ornamental wood, which is sensitive to cold, is not suitable for cultivation in beds in the local climate.

  • Spread out some potsherds over the water drain as drainage
  • Put the potted gentian bush in high-quality potted plant soil
  • Leave a watering edge of 2-3 centimeters free and water abundantly

also read

  • Hibernate the gentian bush properly
  • A gentian bush should never get frost
  • The nightshade plant gentian is very poisonous

Care tips

The sophisticated gentian tree demands daily attention, which is rewarded with a spectacular flower festival throughout the summer. The care program in short:

  • Keep the substrate constantly moist
  • Watering with soft rainwater or decalcified tap water
  • Apply liquid fertilizer once or twice a week from March to September
  • As a high stem, cut cautiously even during the flowering period
  • Clean up withered flowers to make room for new buds
  • Central pruning before clearing or in early spring

A bright, cool overwintering at 7-12 degrees Celsius is of the greatest relevance for flowering. Do not let the soil dry out and stop giving fertilizers from October to February.

Which location is suitable?

You can only look forward to the tireless bloom in a location that is fully sunny and sheltered from the wind. If shadows fall on the trunk due to the dense flower and leaf dress, this fact does not have a negative effect on growth.

What soil does the plant need?

The capricious gentian tree demands a soil that meets the high demands. Therefore, do not buy the first potting soil, but choose a substrate with these attributes:

  • Rich in nutrients
  • Structurally stable with first-class water storage
  • Casual and humane
  • Neutral pH between 6 and 7

Avoid a high percentage of peat as this material tends to compact. Instead, enrich commercial potted plant soil with compost and lava granulate. (€ 10.95 at Amazon *)

When is the flowering time?

Last but not least, it is the never-ending blooming season with which the gentian tree conquers hearts. The blue, violet or white flowers continue from spring to deep autumn. Regular cleaning encourages increased flower growth.

Cut the gentian bush correctly

Professional pruning is one of the key factors in successful care. The top priority here is to exercise restraint with the scissors. How to keep the gentian tree in shape:

  • As a high trunk, slightly shorten the noses of the shoots during the season in order to preserve the shape
  • Before storing, cut the branches by a maximum of a third
  • Alternatively, cut back in early spring

The younger the gentian bush, the more restrained the pruning is. At an advanced age, a gentian tree with a strong trunk tolerates more courageous pruning, admittedly never more than 50 percent.

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Water the gentian bush

The adequate water balance requires a high degree of sensitivity. Check the moisture content of the substrate daily - in the morning and in the evening in summer - with a thumb test. The earth must never dry out. At the same time, waterlogging means the end of every gentian tree. How to handle the sensitive care topic correctly:

  • Keep the soil evenly moist
  • Use collected rainwater or stale tap water
  • Empty the coaster after 10 minutes at the latest

Continue the water supply during the winter at a reduced level. The cooler and darker the quarter, the lower the need for moisture. Furthermore, the top priority is not to let the substrate dry out.

Fertilize the gentian bush properly

In order for the effort of tireless flowering to succeed, the gentian tree requires a constant supply of energy. So fertilize the ornamental wood from March to September once or twice a week with a high-quality liquid fertilizer for container plants.


As a consequence of an aphid infestation, sooty mildew can occur, in the course of which the leaves turn black. As a rule, however, neglect of care causes health problems, such as water and nutrient deficiencies or improper pruning.


If you are considering growing a gentian sapling, arm yourself against the following pests:

  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Whiteflies


The gentian tree does not tolerate frost. Therefore, carry the bucket to winter quarters in autumn with these conditions:

  • Light and frost-free with temperatures of 7 to 12 degrees
  • Water less, but don't let it dry out
  • Do not fertilize from October to February

If the gentian tree sheds all of its leaves, there is no need to panic. In this way, the wood compensates for the lack of light in the dark season.

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Propagate gentian bush

With every pruning you have vital material in your hands for propagation with cuttings. Each shoot tip with a length of 10-15 centimeters is far too good to dispose of because it has what it takes to become a young gentian tree. Put the branch, defoliated in the lower half, in a pot with potting soil, put a transparent cover over it and pour on from below. So it goes on:

  • Keep constantly moist in the partially shaded, warm window seat
  • Ventilate the cover daily to prevent mold
  • If the cutting sprouts, the hood can give way

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How do I transplant properly?

Every 2 to 3 years the root ball in the bucket reaches its limits and is transplanted. For this measure, reserve a day in early spring after pruning, when the gentian tree is still in its sap dormancy. Shake off the used substrate as much as possible and pot the gentian tree into fresh soil as deeply as before.

Is gentian bush poisonous?

The gentian tree belongs to the large nightshade family. This results in a high degree of toxicity in all parts. Even minimal skin contact can lead to symptoms of intoxication. Consumption of the smallest amounts causes vomiting, stomach cramps, respiratory paralysis and even cardiac arrest. Keep the gentian tree out of the reach of small children and pets. Any horticultural activity should be carried out with protective gloves.

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Gentian bush does not bloom

It is not a matter of course that the gentian tree will bloom. First and foremost, amateur gardeners struggle with a lack of flowering after the winter break. We have compiled the most important triggers for this shortcoming with tips on how to remedy them for you here:

  • Too warm overwintering: Gentian trees overwinter light and cool at 7 to 12 degrees Celsius
  • Too much pruning: cut gentian trees by a maximum of 30 percent in autumn or spring
  • Nutrient deficiency: fertilize at least once a week, in summer ideally twice a week
  • Unsuitable location: while the trunk can stand in partial shade, the crown requires full sun
  • Drought stress: Water regularly, in summer with dryness in the morning and evening with lime-free water

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Yellow leaves

Yellowed leaves on the gentian tree are a symptom of nutrient deficiencies due to too calcareous irrigation water. Use only soft water and fertilize at least once a week from March to September.

The most beautiful varieties

  • Alba: with its pure white flowers, this gentian tree harmonizes with every neighboring plant
  • Variegata: a rarity with white-green variegated leaves and blue flowers
  • Royal Robe: enchanting gentian tree with bright purple flowers