The Q&A Archives: Deadheading Gloxinia

Question: I am hoping you can tell me the best way to prune the dead flowers off of my Gloxinia. Should I pluck the dead bud at the base of the petals or should I pick it off under the small green leaves beneath the flower? When I pulled the bud off at the base of the petals a white spike stayed attached to the small green leaves. Any help you could offer me would be appreciated.

Answer: Sounds as though in deadheading your plant you left part of the flower attached to the step. The quickest and easiest way to deadhead gloxinia's is to cut the flowering stem all the way down to the foliage level. This will encourage additional blooming and remove the old bare flowering stems.

To really get gloxinia's into tip top shape, follow these guidelines: 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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