Gesneriads forum: Anyone grow Chocolate Soldier??

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Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jan 9, 2015 2:35 PM CST
Years ago, and I'm talking over 36 years ago, a lady I worked at the hospital with gave me a lovely plant she called a chocolate soldier. It had stunning foliage and lovely red blooms. I loved it and kept it for years. I finally lost it, but have never found another. I now know it is in this family of plants. It made me think of an African violet. I would love to buy a cutting, or trade some purple Achiminee bulbs. There are also other kinds than the one she had, I'd love to have some other kinds as well. Thanks.
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jan 9, 2015 4:06 PM CST
It's an episcia. A nice one. I never grew it myself, but a friend grew it for many years. I've seen it available at different times. I think a search might turn up a seller, but it will likely be a specialty vendor, not a general plant tradesman. Maybe someone here will know or possibly even grow it.
The photo is from the database here on ATP.
Donald
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jan 9, 2015 10:41 PM CST
Oh, my! That's the plant Donald! Even after all these years, I recognize it like it was yesterday. What a beauty. Thank you.
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
(Zone 6a)
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Celene
Jan 10, 2015 4:42 PM CST
This was one of my first houseplants, my aunt gave me a stolon. When the weather warms, remind me and I'll send you some stolons. It's a lovely, easily-grown plant. I have quite a few cultivars.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jan 10, 2015 4:54 PM CST
Oh Celene, God bless you! I have looked and looked at every nursery for these beauties! I have so longed for some. I will certainly get in contact with you say around mid March??
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Mar 15, 2015 4:31 PM CST
I had Episcia Chocolate Soldier years ago and I agree it sure is a pretty one with those red flowers against that gorgeous foliage! I really love the Episcias with the pink leaves too.

One of these days I might get back to growing gesneriads again but my problem is wanting one of every cultivar I see and I usually end up with a dozen or more different AV's, Episcias, Sinningias, Chiritas, etc. They can be addictive LOL and I'm getting old and my attention span is so short anymore I really know I won't take proper care of a lot of them. I have a couple of noid AV's from Walmart and I still have Chirita (Chirita tamiana) that I got in a trade in 2007. It's growing in a terrarium; and to me it's the easiest gesneriad ever. I do nothing for it, never fertilize and it still blooms a couple of times a year.

Lyndon Lyons http://lyndonlyon.com/CP%20List%20Episcia%20NF.html has Episcia Chocolate Cream, E. Chocolate Velour (which I also grew at one time) and E. Chocolate Warrior. I've been browsing their site off and on for a few weeks now but still haven't placed an order ... we've got so much going on right now that I really don't have time to set up light stands so it might be another six months to a year before I bring myself to grow gessies again ... if I can hold out that long! Green Grin!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Mar 15, 2015 4:41 PM CST
Wow! They sound beautiful!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill

mbentz1
Aug 21, 2015 10:36 AM CST
Hi Donna,
I was wondering if you ever found a Chocolate Soldier? I have the one your looking for. I got my 1st one up in Alaska and when I moved down to Washington State I brought a part of it with me. I have several. I take clippings off all the time and restart them. I brought mine down in a baggie with a very wet paper towel and in a small box so it wouldn't smash. Anyways if your still looking I could send you a start? Email me at ladymarianb@yahoo.com.
Marian
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Aug 13, 2016 3:27 PM CST
Ok guys! Y'all are all much more experienced in growing these plants than I, so help me! I have just got in 4 lovely Episcias, they are tiny, in 2" pots, but two have opening buds on them as tiny as they are and one is budding. What size pot do I need to repot them into? And I assume African Violet soil??
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Sep 12, 2016 1:38 PM CST
Hello Donna how are you? Sorry this has taken me so long to reply = I haven't check Gesnariad forum for a while!!
Yes to special soil. One thing I do with all my gesnariads, is place on a tray of gravel with water - this total helps them have access to moisture! Thumbs up Let us know how your plants are doing!
Hurray!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Oct 1, 2016 6:05 PM CST
Found a couple of episcias at our church's rummage sale - along with three African Violets. The two episcias look alike and looking forward to see what kind of blossoms will appear. They look quite a bit like the Chocolate Soldiers pictured here. The African Violets are another story - they all appear to be different - although still young yet, so hard to tell. I have grown AV before - but episcias are new for me although I have admired their foliage for quite some time. If anyone every has any stolens, cuttings, etc - I would certainly appreciate them. At the moment I have nothing to trade but would be more than glad to pay for them and the postage. If anyone has more photos of their episcias I would like to see them. Have googled them and seen and admired a lot of different images.
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Oct 1, 2016 10:34 PM CST
Hi Don, have fun with your new plants!! Post pics when you can, please!
I don't have episcias anymore, and I always forget the names of what I do have, tomorrow I'll take some photos and I'll tree mail you to see if you are interested
Good luck with your plants ! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

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