Fanflower: Scaevola saligna
The 96 species of this Australian genus, a member of the Caterpillars family, are not hardy but some are grown as house plants and balcony plants. This is true in particular of the blue fan flower, which was only introduced to Europe in 1988. It is a trailing plant that is often grown in hanging baskets and window boxes. It is extremely weather-resistant and even tolerates short periods of drought. To ensure prolific flowering fan flowers need a sunny to partially shaded position, well-drained, soft water and weekly applications of a weak solution of fertilizer from spring until late summer. Because of its frost-tenderness, it can only be placed outdoors at the end of May. It is propagated from softwood in late summer under mist, which is why it is best left to the experts. The violet-blue ‘Blue Wonder’ variety is a classic. It looks very good with trailing geraniums.