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Scaevola or Fan Flower

Fan flower (Scaevola aemula) is an excellent summer annual to grow in hanging baskets, window boxes, containers, or as a bedding plant. Native to Australia, scaevola have become popular in the United States due to their heat and drought tolerance and pest resistance.

Fan flower (Scaevola aemula) is an excellent summer annual to grow in hanging baskets, window boxes, containers, or as a bedding plant.

Fan flower (Scaevola aemula) is an excellent summer annual to grow in hanging baskets, window boxes, containers, or as a bedding plant.
Joey Williamson, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Height/Spread

Depending on the cultivar, scaevola can range from 8 to 12 inches in height and 2 or more feet long.

Ornamental Features

The dainty fan-shaped flowers have 5 petals that range in colors of blue, purple, pink, or white. As the flowers are self-cleaning, it is not necessary to dead-head the spent blooms. The 2-inch rounded leaves have slightly toothed margins on prostrate, trailing stems.

How to Grow

Scaevola is best grown in full sun to part shade and does well in hot, dry summers. It prefers medium, well-drained soil that is kept evenly moist, but not wet. Allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again to prevent root rot.

Plant in the spring after the last frost when soil temperatures reach 65 ºF. If the plant becomes leggy, pinch back the stems in order to maintain a more compact growth habit. Regular fertilization promotes flowering; however, do not use fertilizers that have too high of a phosphorous level.

Landscape Use

Scaevola is grown for use in hanging baskets, containers, window boxes, and landscape beds. The flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects.

Problems

Few insects, with the exception of mealybugs, feed on scaevola. Root rot may be a problem if the plant is kept too wet.

Cultivars

The cultivars listed below all have similar growth habits along with drought and heat tolerance. The flower color for each cultivar is listed below

  • ´Blue Wonder´ – blue flowers, 6 to 8 inches tall x 3 to 4 feet wide
  • ´Bombay® Blue´ – blue flowers, 8 to 12 inches tall x 12 to 18 inches wide
  • ´Bombay® Pink´ – pink flowers, 8 to 12 inches tall x 12 to 18 inches wide
  • ´Bombay® White´ – white flowers, 8 to 12 inches tall x 12 to 18 inches wide
  • ´Fairy™ Blue´ – blue flowers, 6 to 10 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • ´Fairy™ Pink´ – pink flowers, 6 to 10 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • Fairy™ White´ – white flowers, 6 to 10 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide

´Fairy™ Pink´ Scaevola is an excellent choice for mixed containers and hanging baskets.

´Fairy™ Pink´ Scaevola is an excellent choice for mixed containers and hanging baskets.
Joey Williamson, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

´Fairy™ White´Scaevola has dainty white flowers.

´Fairy™ White´Scaevola has dainty white flowers.
Joey Williamson, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

  • ´New Wonder®´ – blue-purple flowers, 8 to 14 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • ´Pink Charm™´ – pink flowers, 4 inches tall x 5 inches wide

´New Wonder ´Scaevola blooms all summer long.

´New Wonder ´Scaevola blooms all summer long.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

The dainty pink flowers of ´Pink Charm™´ Scaevola will bloom from mid-spring to late summer.

The dainty pink flowers of ´Pink Charm™´ Scaevola will bloom from mid-spring to late summer.
Joey Williamson, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

  • ´Scalora® Amethyst´ – amethyst-blue, 8 to 14 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • ´Scalora® Pink´ – pink flowers, 8 to 14 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • ´Scalora® Pearl´ – white flowers, 8 to 14 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • ´Whirlwind® Blue´ – blue flowers, 8 to 14 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • ´Whirlwind® Pink´ – pink flowers, 8 to 14 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
  • ´Whirlwind® White´ – white flowers, 8 to 14 inches tall x 18 to 24 inches wide
A honeybee gathering pollen from a ´Whirlwind® White´ Scaevola.

A honeybee gathering pollen from a ´Whirlwind® White´ Scaevola.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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