Gloxinia

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Sinningia speciosa is the well-known “Florist’s Gloxinia”.  These hybrids are loved for their large, brightly colored flowers.  Almost every color combination is available.  Some of these plants develop very large tubers and re-emerge from dormancy year after year.  Old specimens may be passed down from generation to generation.

 

Growth Rate

 

Moderate

 

Foliage

 

Scalloped, dark green, 8-12” long in rosettes, velvety hairy, often reddish below.

 

Flowers

 

Clustered, upright or nodding, bell-shaped flowers 2-3” long:  reds, purples, white; single or occasionally double in some cultivars:  sometimes with spotting or marking; velvety; generally of two groups:  Fyfiana are upright, Maxima are nodding.

 

Light

 

Place in a bright, indirectly lit south, east, or west window.

 

Temperature

 

55-60 degrees night time – 70-75 degrees daytime

 

Watering

 

Keep evenly moist.  Water thoroughly and discard drainage.  After flowering, gradually withhold water until the stems and leaves die back, then put the plant in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months.  Water sparingly until new growth appears, then repot into fresh soil, move to light and water again.

 

Fertilize

 

Only when plant is growing or flowering

 

Humidity

 

Humid, not direct on leaves

 

Soil

 

Well-drained

 

Problems

 

Crown rot in overly moist conditions.  Will not bloom if light is too low.  Flower buds blast (buds form, but fail to open) when air is too dry.

 

Uses

 

Popular flowering houseplant

 

After flowering and leaves die off, store tuber dry and cool, repot in spring and keep moist, well-watered once growth resumes; plant tuber with top at soil surface—too deep and it will rot; handle delicately as leaves are fragile and break at petioles easily

 

Gloxinias are not hardy and should be grown as greenhouse or houseplants.  Plant in a 6” pot in a mixture of peat moss and sand with the round side down just beneath the surface (about 1/2 – 1”) deep.  Water well once and keep the soil just moist until leaves start to develop.  Keep in a humid, warm (70-75) spot in indirect, bright light.  NEVER water foliage.  Water lightly, do not saturate the soil.  Gloxinias are slow starters; new sprouts may not show for 6-7 weeks.  Rest potted Gloxinias in the house during late summer and water sparingly, or just enough so that they do not dry out completely.