Detailed Information About Scaevola

salvia farinacea

Let’s talk about Scaevola. There are quite a few interesting things about this plant that make it worth mentioning in detail.

What is Scaevola

A close up of a vase with a purple flower

There are about 14 to 16 species of plants in the genus Scaevola (Family Goodeniaceae). (Smithsonian Institution, 1988) According to the International Plant Names Index, this genus was created by Linnaeus in 1753 with a name that means “left hand.” One author says that it came from a Latin translation of a Greek myth where a character received a gift of a recently killed animal from the god Hermes. Hermes was considered to be left-handed by some people, so this character received the gift with his left arm (which is his right hand).

How to Grow Scaevola

A purple flower on a plant

Here are some notes on growing these plants to help you maintain your plant’s health and beauty:

Lighting should be bright but filtered or indirect sunlight should work fine. Give young plants medium light but as they mature, they glow in brighter light. Placing them under the intense direct sun may burn their leaves, however.

Water moderately at all times until new growth appears, then reduce water until it starts to wilt back again. If grown indoors, water enough so that it doesn’t dry out completely.

Soil should be well-drained and airy. Reduce watering as plants become root-bound. Mix 1/2 part good topsoil and 1/2 part perlite with a third of peat moss or composted soil, and use to pot up your plants. Keep the planting mix loose so that the plant is not covered by its own soil, which can lead to bacterial infections in some cases.

Fertilizing is not necessary if you are using natural potting mix instead of commercially-available mixes because they are already fertilized for optimum results. If you must fertilize, do so cautiously – little food means slow growth rates but large amounts may actually damage them or inhibit future flowering times.

Repot in early spring. Mature plants should be potted up every few years to ensure that the soil stays loose and healthy. Reduce watering when repotting, but keep in mind that your plant may take some time to adjust to its new pot size.

How to take care of Scaevola?

Scaevola is very sensitive to fluoride, chlorine, salt, and other chemicals found in tap water (Smithsonian Institution, 1988). This can be an issue if you are using your local tap water for irrigation purposes. The best choice would be distilled or purified water; however, if this isn’t an option for you then use bottled drinking water instead of tap. Be careful not to overwater your plants (especially indoor ones) during the winter months.

Temperature specification for Scaevola

The temperature should range from 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit at night to 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. It is important not to let them drop below 50 degrees unless you have a naturally cool environment. Insulating container plants in colder climates may be necessary if temperatures drop below 50 degrees F. If so, simply place a thick sheet or towel around your plant and pot, and cover with a thin sheet or light blanket (do not use plastic). Keep covered until temperatures rise again. Be aware that too much moisture will build up under any sort of covering and lead to disease and mold problems.


The Scaevola plant is a succulent that is native to the southern hemisphere. It can be found in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The Scaevola plant grows best in dry climates with sandy soils. It produces clusters of flowers that are typically blue, purple, or white.

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