The Q&A Archives: Gloxinia Problems

Question: The leaves on my gloxinia plant often droop and curl up. What is the reason for this? Also, some of the leaves have developed white spots on them. Please help.

Answer: Your gloxinia doesn't sound very happy. The plants are spectacular when they bloom, but they're not very easy to bring into bloom. Here are the most important requirements: Supply bright light, but not direct sunlight, average household temperatures during the day with a minimum of 60F degrees at night, water frequently enough to keep the soil moist, and use tepid water. Keep water off the leaves, keep the plant out of drafts, and help increase moisture around the plant by setting the pot on a layer of pebbles in a tray filled with water. If you can supply the required conditions, the leaves will stop drooping and curling. White spots on the leaves could indicate the disease Powdery Mildew. Because gloxinia's go into a rest period in the winter and the leaves fall off naturally, you may be able to stop the spread of powdery mildew by removing the affected leaves from the plant now and reducing the amount of water it gets. Once all of the leaves fall off, stop watering completely and store the pot in a warm, dry area until new leaves appear. Then water well, move back into a bright location, and keep the plant out of drafts.

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