Scaevola: the “left-handed” flower

Some plant specimens such as Scaevola are the delight of many gardeners looking for heat-resistant plants that are ideal for growing in the summer. The aforementioned plant with its thick stems guarantees the best drought tolerance in full sun and is ideal for growing in hanging pots, so its delicate palm-shaped blooms can be observed up close. Known botanically as Scaevola Aemula, this fan-shaped plant belonging to the Goodeniaceae family is a herbaceous and shrubby specimen native to Australia and New Guinea.

The name clearly deriving from the Latin means “left-handed”, referring to the one-sided nature of the flowers. Among other things, it is a very drought-resistant plant and suitable for growing in containers, hanging baskets, rock gardens or simply in a garden. All types of Scaevola have white, pink or purple-blue flowers in the shape of a half fan and with five petals just like the fingers of the hand. Growing this specimen is not difficult at all, so it is necessary to follow the routine operations typical of gardening.

Cultivation methods

Scaevola plants in hot climates are able to propagate without any fall of flowers and do not require special fertilization, but when this does not happen, it is usually due to excessive irrigation or poor soil drainage. To optimize the yield in terms of flowering, however, it is important to choose a site with full to partial sun, and to opt for a rich soil even if the one of medium fertility is fine. Scaevola plants need occasional watering as in case of excessive humidity they can attract midges or undergo root rot. It is therefore advisable to wait until the surface of the soil is dry enough before proceeding with a new irrigation. Accustomed to the lean growing conditions typical of the native Australian climate, Scaevola plants require only a balanced low-phosphorus flower fertilizer, which if excessive can cause discoloration of flowers and leaves. Applying the fertilizer once a month during the growing season is to maximize the result. On the sidelines it is important to underline that the Scaevola can also be propagated by cutting; in fact, it is sufficient to immerse the end of the cut in the rooting hormone and insert it in a sterile soil, avoiding excessive watering in order not to run the risk of fungal diseases.

Diseases and treatments

Like many native Australian specimens, Scaevola does not suffer from pest related problems. Plants stressed by a long drought, however, can attract thrips, and in this case it is best to avoid spraying the plant with insect repellents, since the specimen in question represents an important source of nectar for butterflies.


For those who decide to decorate a terrace with hanging pots or a garden flowerbed with Scaevola, it is important to know that depending on the species, flowers of various shades can be obtained. To give some examples, the series called Fata presents compact plants 15 cm high in blue, pink or white. The Fanfare series, on the other hand, offers many lavender blue flowers during the growing season, while those defined as Carpet form a dense covering of the ground making the context unique and very refined.

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