The Q&A Archives: Droopy Gloxinia

Question: I received a beautiful purple gloxinia as a gift in August and repotted it using miracle gro potting mix. It is now just one month later and the three flowers have fallen off and the leaves are getting pretty droopy. I have tried misting the leaves every other day to give it moisture and have moved it to different spots in the house as well. It was originally in a bright room with windows to the east and south. It's not a happy plant! What can I do?

Answer: Gloxinia has a reputation for being difficult and yours sounds like it's following the same pattern. First and foremost, your plant is probably losing its flowers because it was repotted while in bloom. Transplanting is stressful on a plant and is best during dormancy, or very early in the spring before growth begins.

Here are some general care guidelines for gloxinia: give the plants average household warmth (minimum 60F degrees), bright light (or shade if you put them outdoors in the summertime), keep the potting soil moist at all times, use tepid rather than cold tap water, and try to keep water off the leaves. Gloxinia's thrive in a moist environment so put the pot on a tray of pebbles and keep water in the tray - or mist the leaves occasionally- to provide the humidity it likes. Reduce watering when the plant has finished flowering, and stop feeding. Allow to dry out when the leaves turn yellow - then store the plant in the pot over the winter. Repot tuber in fresh potting soil in the spring, or repot while it's dormant (Jan - Feb.). Keep warm and dry until leaves appear, then provide the proper temperature, light and watering conditions.

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