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Gloxinia Sinningia speciosa
Gloxinia is a relative of the African violet. This household plant blooms freely, producing flowers in various hues- red, purple, blue, pink, and bicolors.
Since the Gloxinia is a tropical plant, it prefers plenty of humidity and warmth of at least 70 degrees during the day. Gloxinias like evenly moist soil, but they can't stand being waterlogged. Also, avoid getting water on the foliage or atop the tubers.
This plant needs bright, but no direct sunlight. Too little light creates leggy stems that you will need to stake. Use the same potting soil mixture designed for African Violets. Soil high in humus is best. Apply liquid household fertilizer as soon as you see small buds developing. Feed lightly every few weeks.
When Gloxinia stops blooming, withold water gradually until foliage dries. Store the tuber in its pot of soil in a cool, dark place until new growth starts.Then repot, barely covering the crown of tuber, in a 4-inch pot of pre-moistened vermiculite. Set the pot in a warm, softly lighted spot; water only enough to keep vermiculite moist. Encasing each pot in a plastic sack until the tuber is rooted will often aid plant growth.
You can propagate new plants by taking leaf cuttings from a mature plant after it blooms. A tuber develops at the base of a leaf cutting if started in water or soil mixture. Plant rooted leaf in a 3-inch pot with new tuber slightly below soil level. Brace parent leaf with sticks; remove the brace after new foliage appears.
Pests and diseases are seldom a problem with gloxinias. Take the following precautions to prevent these problems. Keep plants and growing area clean, pick off fading blossoms and dying leaves, wash leaves to free them of dust and pests. Do not crowd plants as this will give them less air and light.
A common problem is tuber rot- so do not let soil become waterlogged, and do not water the top of the tuber.
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Davie, FL 33314
Page updated 8/12/2016