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The Great Indoors--Gloxinias

The florist Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa fyfiana hybrid) is a tuberous relative of the popular African violet.  It’s large, hairy (pubescent) leaves fan out from the tuber in a rosette, often completely hiding the pot.  Handle the plant with care, as these leaves snap or tear easily.  Velvety upright bell-shaped flowers cluster at the center of the plant, in rich, vibrant colors.  A gloxinia fresh from the grower is truly a beautiful sight.

Care is similar to that for the African violet.  Provide bright indirect light to some direct morning sun.  Gloxinias are particular about their watering—too much and the tuber will rot, too little and flowers won’t last.  Water when the surface soil is dry to the touch.  Always use a container that has drainage, and avoid pouring water in the center of the tuber where it may collect and stand.  Use day-old, room temperature water and water early in the day so that leaves can dry quickly. 
 
Fertilize regularly when actively growing, using a balanced formula such as 20-20-20.  Gloxinia do best when temperatures range from 65-75⁰F.  Most flowering takes place in spring and summer, but with appropriate care, the gloxinia can bloom any time of year.  After flowering, gloxinias take a rest period of several weeks.  Cut back on the watering, stop fertilizing, and when the leaves have died, stop watering altogether.  Place the dormant plant in its pot in a cool, dim location, lightly misting the soil occasionally.  When the plant is ready, new growth will appear, and the tuber can be repotted into fresh medium.  Use a well-draining peaty mix containing perlite, vermiculite, and coarse sand.  Resume regular care.

Not an easy plant, but very rewarding when you are successful!  
Posted: 8/1/2015 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Great, Indoors, Margot, The
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