The blue fan flower originally comes from Australia and Tasmania, where it grows in open and dry sandy and clay soils. There it is evergreen and perennial. In Europe it hasn’t been known or available for that long. It was probably not introduced until 1989. Unfortunately it is not hardy at all. The blue fan flower is very dominant. It won’t be pushed out by other balcony and tub plants that easily. It has even proven itself against the two-tooth (Bidens). If you like contrasts in your plant arrangement, you should plant the two flowering wonders together.

Care of the blue fan flower

What is remarkable about this fan flower are the inflorescences, which are up to 25 cm long and on which numerous 2 to 2.5 cm large flowers appear and bloom. The flowers are, as the name suggests, blue to deep blue-purple in colour, but there are also white, pale blue and now even pink varieties. The flowering period extends from May to the first cold temperatures, which she doesn’t like because the shoots quickly become limp. Characteristic of the plant is its fan-like growth. It looks particularly good when such a hanging basket is floating in front of a wall and the fan is open across its entire width, i.e. from right to left. That’s how I always do it. In the background a magic snow and in front a blue fan flower. The two get along very well. This also looks great in the balcony box.

Although the fan flower blooms really beautifully, you don’t see it very often in window boxes. That’s probably partly because when it hits stores early in the season, it’s still looking a bit sparse and out of proportion. But that happens quickly. The shoots grow, the appearance becomes more even, the flowers open. Once in motion, these flowering plants develop into absolute eye-catchers. It is definitely worth trying out the blue or a different colored fan flower. Neither rain nor sun nor wind bother these permanent bloomers. Maintenance is easy. The fan flower hardly does any work. You don’t even have to cut off or pluck the faded flowers, the plant does it all by itself, it is self-cleaning.


The blue fan flower likes the sun. It is a plant native to warm, sunny areas. The darker and shadier it spends the summer, the less it thrives and blooms. Of course, the flower needs more water in full sun, but overall it should be very bright and sunny.

  • Full sun to maximum half shade
  • In the shade, the plant stays smaller and does not bloom as profusely
  • Also withstands strong winds

plant substrate

The blue fan flower does not make such high demands on the plant substrate. It must be permeable, but still be able to store nutrients. Lime is not tolerated. A slightly acidic substrate is favourable. Soil that is too firm should be made more permeable. Drainage at the bottom of the pot is also beneficial.

  • Uniform earth, but permeable and absolutely loose
  • Perlite or styrofoam aggregate to make it more permeable
  • Sand is also suitable
  • Humus and slightly acidic soil is favorable
  • Lime is unfavorable


There is not much to pay attention to when planting. One should not plant the blue fan flowers too densely. The distance should not be too close, neither to similar nor to other plants. Otherwise, these plants are planted like other balcony and tub plants. Incidentally, they are very good for planting under tall trees.

  • Planting distance 20 cm
  • Two to three plants are used for a hanging basket, depending on how dense you want the shoots to be.
  • Only plant out after the ice saints, as the plant is very susceptible to frost
  • Since the shoots are quite long, it makes sense to use a slightly higher planter, otherwise they will soon be on the ground. Of course, this is not necessary for hanging baskets and balcony boxes.

watering and fertilizing

Watering and fertilizing are important for the development of the fan flower. But you don’t have to overdo it either. The soil should not be constantly wet, but also not dry out too often. You have to find the golden mean. Allow the soil to dry well before watering. Just don’t let the bale dry out. Fertilizing is important, the plant needs a lot of nutrients.

  • Like soft water, but also get along quite well with hard water as long as it does not contain too much hard water.
  • Water evenly
  • Medium water requirement
  • Always keep the soil slightly moist
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • Fertilize weekly
  • NK-focused fertilizer
  • If you want to overwinter the plant, you should stop fertilizing from the end of July, August at the latest
  • Avoid excess phosphorus
  • If you overwinter, you should start fertilizing as early as February with 0.2 to 0.3% liquid fertilizer
  • If the leaves aren’t really green or look yellowish, it may be due to an iron deficiency, which can be remedied with fertilizer containing iron. This deficiency usually comes from the calcareous water.

To cut

Cutting is usually not necessary, since the blue fan flower is usually only cultivated once a year. Should a shoot die off or weaken, it should of course be cut out.

If flowering dwindles too early in the year, it makes sense to prune back a bit, about halfway. This ensures that new flowering shoots form. In this way, the shape can be well preserved.


Overwintering should be possible. I haven’t tried it yet because I leave the plants outside as long as possible and the fan flower always gets the first cold nights and says goodbye. Almost all of my other plants don’t mind the cooler temperatures. They’re usually out there for weeks. The fan flower is actually the first to say goodbye, some time before the potted plants are put away.

  • Can be overwintered at 15°C.
  • I have also read that 5 to 10° C would be completely sufficient.
  • Cut back about two-thirds before overwintering
  • Should be bright and draught-free.
  • airing
  • Water a little, but don’t let it dry out completely.
  • The cooler the plant is, the less water it needs.
  • Do not fertilize until February
  • Check regularly for pests


Hybrids are usually sold in local flower shops. These can easily be propagated by cuttings. This is cheap because it allows you to grow your plants for the coming year. The hibernated specimens usually look pretty tattered and no longer beautiful after the winter. They don’t bloom that well anymore either. Young, self-propagated plants are a good alternative. While cuttings root best in late spring, they will do so later in the year as well.

  • Cutting size at least 5 cm
  • Rooting period at least 3 weeks
  • Rooting hormones help
  • Cover the jar with foil
  • The humidity must be very high
  • Temperatures between 10 and 22° C

Cultivation from seeds is said to be possible but difficult. However, I did not find any seeds during my research either, the Scaevola species that are offered are not the plants known as balcony flowers. I’ve also read that fan flowers grown from seed take years to bloom. There are probably other species as well.

diseases and pests

The blue fan flower is a very robust plant. Illnesses are rare and mostly due to care errors. Pests, on the other hand, can always appear once in a while. You should also watch out for pest infestation during the winter. The conditions are usually not ideal, the plants are weakened. The pests usually have an easy time there.

  • Miner flies – recognizable by mine-like feeding tunnels – collect and dispose of infested leaves. If you can, you should put the containers in a greenhouse and fight them with parasitic wasps, otherwise use a systemic insecticide
  • Whitefly – flies and larvae sit on the underside of the leaf, if you touch the plant, the adult animals fly up as a swarm – yellow panels in the greenhouse, otherwise spray on potash-based pesticides until dripping wet, especially on the underside of the leaf, otherwise use systemic agents, as they are absorbent Insects, the poison is absorbed from the plant
  • Verticillium wilt (fungal disease) – the wilt fungus is difficult to control. Remove infested plant parts and do not dispose of them in the compost! Soil replacement can help, but usually comes too late for infested plants


There are about 70 to 130 species of Scaevola.

  • ‘Blue Wonder’ – blue-violet flowers and emerald green leaves (first variety introduced in Germany)
  • ‘Brilliant’ – azure flowers, round compact habit
  • Crystal’ – white, medium-sized flowers
  • ‘Diamond’ – two-colored flowers in white or very light violet with a dark edge, spherical to bushy growth,
  • ‘Pink Fan’ – rich pink flowers
  • ‘Saphira’ – the color of the flowers is often described as deep blue, for me it’s a nice strong violet
  • ‘White Fan’ – white, medium-sized flowers
  • ‘Topaz Pink – Soft pink flowers
  • ‘Suntastic’ – yellow flowers with white tips (not yet found in Germany, only via English dealers, possibly via Holland)
  • ‘Surdiva Light Blue’ – soft blue flowers
  • ‘Blue Laguna’ – beautiful purple variety
  • ‘White Laguna’ – white flowers
  • ‘Little Wonder’ – is often described as dark blue, in my eyes the typical fan flower color, light to medium violet
  • ‘White Wonder’ – white flowers with a bright yellow centre
  • ‘Fandancer’ – rich purple flowers
  • ‘Farol Violet’ – flowers from medium to strong purple
  • ‘Farol White—white flowers
  • ‘Amethyst’ – delicate violet flowers

The blue fan flower is one of my favorite traffic light plants. So far I only had blue or violet specimens. This year I’m going to try white and pink, I’m sure that looks good too. I like white plants or better flowering plants anyway. The fan flower is easy to care for and very floriferous. I can recommend it with a clear conscience, a very grateful balcony and container plant.

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