How to grow and care for Flame Violet Indoors

Houseplant, Flame Violet

Botanical name: Episcia cupreata
Family: Gesneriaceae

Flame Violet is an eye-catching houseplant which is grown for its large leaves quilted with silvery or pale-green veins. It bears tubular orange-red flowers which are yellow-eyed and about 3/4 in. diameter. The runners root in surrounding soil where they form plantlets used for propagation. Due to its high requirement for high humidity, it may be difficult to grow as a stand alone plant or in a hanging basket. However, it is an excellent ground cover between taller plants where it can enjoy the increased humidity in the group of plants. The plant is a perennial flowering plant, native to Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela. It has produced many hybrids like Amazon, Metallica, Cleopatra, Harlequin and Acajou among others.

Though an attractive trailing plant, Flame Violet is not as popular as its well-known relative, the African Violet. This is due to its requirement for highly humid conditions.

How to Grow Flame Violet

Light

Flame Violet grows best in bright light away from direct sunshine. Exposure of the plant to direct sunlight will result in sunscorched leaves. Learn more on how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Flame Violet thoroughly during the growing season to maintain the soil moist through out. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out as it can lead to wilting and laef drop. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average room temperature with a minimum of 130C is ideal for Flame Violet. Protect it from cold draughts to prevent leaf fall. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Flame Violet grows best in humid conditions. Employ these techniques to raise humidity for the plant.

Feeding

Feed Flame Violet with a phosphorous-rich fertilizer every 3 weeks during the growing season. Withhold feeding during the growth season as growth is minimal. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.

Pruning

Prune Flame Violet by removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Pinch off the growing tips in young plants to encourage a bushy growth. Cutback the plant after flowering to 1/2 of its height to encourage new growth from which the flowers arise.

Repotting

Repot the Flame Violet at the beginning of the growing season in a pot one size larger than the previous one only when the plant becomes pot-bound. Being pot-bound encourages flowering. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot.

How to Propagate Flame Violet

Flame Violet can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from the plantlets borne on the runners. Detach the plantlets and pot them in their individual pot or pot up several plantlets in one pot for a bushy plant. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid waterlogging as it can lead to rotting. Place the set in a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist through out until the plants are well established.

Common Problems in Growing Flame Violet

  • Wilting and leaf drop
  • Underwatering is the cause of wilting and leaf drop in Flame Violet; water the plant thoroughly and maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season.

  • Loss of leaves
  • Cold draughts and exposure to direct sunlight will cause leaf drop in Flame Violet. Protect the plant from cold draughts and maintain warm temperatures. Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight.

  • Brown leaf tips and or brown leaf edges
  • Too low humidity will cause brown leaf tips and edges in Flame Violet. Employ these techniques to raise humidity for the plant.

  • No blooms
  • Several reasons can lead to no blooms in Flame Violet. These are too little light, feeding with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and underwatering.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Flame Violet are Spider Mite, Scale Insects and Aphids.

Toxicity

Flame Violet (Episcia cupreata) is non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is safe to grow in the home.

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