You have been most helpful on the care of my Majesty Palms and now have another plant question. I just brought my Gloxinia's in for the season and the have become somewhat of a vine. Do I prune the lengthy, leafy vines off or let go dormant? Is there a way of propagating the leaves to start new plants? What is the Winter Care for them? Thank you, Bob
|Gloxinias (Sinningia speciosa) are a close relative of African violets, both of which belong to the Gesneriaceae family, also known as Gesneriads. Many of the cultural requirements of Gloxinia are similar to African violets. And like African violet leaves, they are very sensitive to cold water and need to be watered properly to avoid leaf distortions.
Gloxinias need plenty of bright, indirect light. If necessary, use supplemental lighting during the winter months. Gloxinias are sensitive when it comes to watering.
Water them when the soil feels dry to the touch. You can also water the plant from below (sub-irrigation) by placing the pot in a saucer of water and removing it after about an hour.
Sub-irrigating Gloxinias is a good idea because the crown of the plant is very sensitive to excessive moisture and is prone to rotting. Be sure to use lukewarm water as Gloxinias are sensitive to cold water. Finally, keep water off of the leaves when watering.
When actively growing, Gloxinias do best in temperatures of about 70 degrees F and when in bloom prefer temperatures in the mid-60s. This is ideal for a home in the winter and spring months. Relatively high humidity also helps.
Gloxinias bloom for about two months. After blooming, the plant will enter a dormant stage. This happens when the plant stops sending out new blooms and leaves begin to die back. At this time you can prune away the dead foliage. The dormant stage is required for the plant and lasts six to nine weeks.
During this time, watering should be kept to a minimum and fertilizing should be stopped. Think cool and dry conditions, similar to what most bulbs and tubers need during their resting period. After this dormant period, the tuber can be grown again to produce a new plant.
You can propagate your gloxinia through leaf cuttings, just as you would for an African Violet.
Enjoy your gloxinia.