Gloxinias make great indoor houseplants. They are easy to grow and will give you some beautiful color to enjoy through the winter season when your yard and garden is lacking color. Gloxinias prefer temperatures of 60-75 degrees, but will need high humidity to produce flowers. Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) are beautiful velvet-flowered plants that have coarse, deep green foliage that has a reddish underside. This is a species that is known as the Florist Gloxinia. They belong to the family Gesneriads, which comprise about 2,500 species. These are the predominant members of the gesneriad family: The African Violet, Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus), Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus), Cupid's Bower (Achimenes), Flame violet (Episcia), and Goldfish plant (Nematanthus).
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The soil should be kept moist. Gloxinias can be planted in any type of good potting soil. When you have some plants that need to be repotted, it is always easier to do them all at the same time. This saves time by having all of your supplies together at one time. A potting bench is a great item to have if you do a lot of repotting and growing from seeds. You can store all of your supplies in one neat place.
Gloxinias have large, tubular flowers that come in a wide range of colors. They range from pure white to purples and reds. They may have dots, splashes of color, or even stripes. Some of the hybrid varieties may have frilled or fancy petals tips. The flowers are set off by a velvety foliage. You will need to avoid getting water on the leaves because they will spot. Gloxinias do not need to be fertilized while they are blooming. After the plant has bloomed try to reduce the water and fertilizing every 2 weeks or so.
To bring the plant into bloom, you should stop watering when the plant starts to turn yellow. Then, remove the foliage and store the tuber in a cool, dry spot in its original pot until springtime. After that, repot the tuber, and keep it so that it is at soil lever to prevent rotting. Next, bring it into a warm spot and begin watering very sparingly. When the foliage begins to appear, try keeping the soil moist, but not soggy, and provide high humidity.
Gloxinias can be propagated by taking leaf and stem cuttings. Plant them into a mixture of vermiculite and sand for rooting. Apply heat to the bottom of the tray. Gloxinias can also be grown from seed, but will take some time to develop a tuber.
Pests and Diseases
Gloxinias are affected by mealy bugs, spider mites and whiteflies. If you find any type of pests on the leaves use a strong spray of water to dislodge spider mites and whiteflies. Treat mealybugs with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
*Tip- always make a habit of checking for any types of pests and disease on your plant before bring any of them into your home.
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