Gentian Gentiana 'Shot Silk'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
gentian 'Shot Silk'


Gentiana 'Shot Silk' presents a striking appearance with its vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers that have intricately patterned throats. The petals of these blossoms exhibit a captivating array of purples, often possessing a silky texture that glistens in the light, reminiscent of shot silk fabric. The flowers are supported by sturdy stems which are clothed in lance-shaped, glossy green leaves. Throughout its flowering season, this plant creates a dazzling show of color and texture in the garden.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Shot Silk Gentian

    • Common names

      Gentiana 'Shot Silk'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Gentiana 'Shot Silk' is not commonly known for being toxic to humans. There are no significant reports of poisoning or adverse effects associated with this plant when touched or ingested in small quantities. However, it's generally recommended that one should not eat plants that are not grown for food purposes as they might cause gastrointestinal discomfort or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

    • To pets

      Gentiana 'Shot Silk' is also not well-documented as being toxic to pets. It is considered to be non-toxic to dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. Just like with humans, pets should not consume plants not meant for their consumption as it could potentially cause mild stomach upset.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot (0.3 meters)

    • Spread

      1 foot (0.3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts pollinators: The vibrant flowers of Gentian attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden.
    • Low maintenance: Gentiana 'Shot Silk' is known for being hardy and requires minimal care once established.
    • Adds color: With its striking purple and pink blooms, this plant provides beautiful color to a garden or landscape.
    • Cold hardy: It is resilient in colder climates and can survive harsh winters once it is established.
    • Alpine gardens: Perfect for rock gardens or alpine settings due to its suitability for well-drained soils and mountain-like conditions.
    • Compact size: Its relatively small size makes it suitable for borders, pots, or small garden spaces.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Gentiana 'Shot Silk' can be used as a natural dye source for fabrics, imparting shades of yellow to green depending on the mordant used.
    • The plant's sturdy stems can be used in lightweight floral arrangements, adding an interesting texture and color contrast to bouquets.
    • Sometimes used in photography, the vibrant blooms provide a striking backdrop for macro photography subjects.
    • Gentian is infused in vodka or other spirits to create homemade bitters for use in crafting cocktails with a unique flavor profile.
    • The visual appeal of the plant can be employed in garden design to create a focal point due to its distinctive color and form.
    • Artists may use the flower as a subject in botanical illustration, capturing its rich colors and delicate structure.
    • Educational tools in plant biology, as their clear structure can help in teaching about flower parts and pollination.
    • The plant may be utilized in eco-friendly burial practices, often integrated into green burial sites to enhance the natural setting.
    • Used in the creation of natural inks for calligraphy and drawing, where the pigments give a unique hue to artworks.
    • Can be incorporated into perfumery to capture the essence of the plant's scent in creating fragrances, though this is not common.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Gentian is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Gentian is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Persistence: The Gentiana genus is known for its ability to thrive in challenging alpine environments, symbolizing perseverance and determination.
    • Victory after Struggle: Many Gentian species take time and care to establish, which can represent triumph over difficulties.
    • Healing: Traditionally, Gentians have been used in medicine, with Gentiana 'Shot Silk' suggesting a symbol of healing and restoration.
    • Attraction: Its striking appearance can symbolize attraction and admiration, much like the impression it leaves in a garden setting.
    • Intrinsic Worth: Despite its rarity, or perhaps because of it, Gentiana 'Shot Silk' may symbolize the idea that true worth is inherent and not always widely recognized.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Gentian 'Shot Silk' requires consistent moisture and should be watered regularly, especially during dry periods. Water the plant deeply once a week, providing it with about one to two gallons, depending on the size of the plant and the weather conditions. Ensure the soil is well-drained to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root rot. During the winter, when the plant is dormant, reduce watering but do not allow the soil to completely dry out.

  • sunLight

    Gentian 'Shot Silk' thrives best in full sun to partial shade. Ideally, plant it in a location where it can receive at least six hours of sunlight daily, but is protected from the harsh afternoon sun, especially in hotter climates. A spot with morning sunlight and afternoon shade would be the optimal light condition for this plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Gentian 'Shot Silk' prefers cool to moderate temperatures and can typically survive in temperatures as low as 10°F and as high as 75°F. The ideal growing conditions are between 50°F and 70°F. They are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 7 and are accustomed to alpine and subalpine climates where temperatures can vary across a wide range.

  • scissorsPruning

    Gentian 'Shot Silk' benefits from occasional pruning to remove any dead or damaged foliage and to promote a bushier growth habit. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning should be done sparingly, cutting back no more than one-third of the plant at a time. Deadheading spent blooms can encourage continued flowering throughout the season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Gentiana 'Shot Silk', commonly known as Gentian, thrives best in a well-draining, loamy soil mix with a slightly acidic to neutral pH, ideally between 5.5 and 7.0. Incorporate organic matter such as peat moss or leaf mold to improve soil structure and water retention. Adding perlite or coarse sand can enhance drainage, which is crucial to prevent root rot. Regular soil testing and amendments can help maintain optimal conditions for this alpine plant.

  • plantRepotting

    Gentians, including Gentiana 'Shot Silk', generally do not require frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2-3 years. They have delicate root systems that prefer to be undisturbed, so only repot when the plant has outgrown its current container or the soil needs replenishment. Best repotting time is in the spring, using a suitable soil mix that facilitates good drainage while retaining some moisture.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Gentiana 'Shot Silk' prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable and can tolerate the humidity levels typically found in most homes. It does not require the high humidity levels that some other plants might need. However, it's important to ensure good air circulation around the plant to prevent any humidity-related fungal diseases.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright indirect light and water moderately.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in part shade, keep soil moist but well-drained.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Gentian 'Shot Silk' begins its life cycle as a seed, requiring a period of stratification (cold treatment) to break dormancy. Upon germination, the seedling develops into a rosette of basal leaves, focusing on establishing a root system. As it matures, usually in the second year, the plant sends up flowering stems with distinctive trumpet-shaped, often vivid blue or purple flowers, which are pollinated by insects. After pollination, the plant sets seed in the form of a capsule containing numerous small seeds, which are then dispersed by wind, water, or animals. In subsequent years, the plant enters a perennial phase, where it can grow larger and produce more flowering stems each season, before eventually declining and dying back to the ground in winter, only to regrow from its rootstock in spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • For Gentiana 'Shot Silk', the most popular method of propagation is by seed. Sow the seeds in fall or early spring, as they require a period of cold stratification to germinate. Gently press the seeds into moistened soil but do not cover them, as light aids in germination. Keep the container with seeds at around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit (10-13 degrees Celsius) until germination, which can take several weeks to months. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them into individual pots and grow them on before planting out into their permanent positions.