How to Care and Propagate Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) Indoors

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Gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa

Botanical name: Sinningia speciosa
Family: Gesneriaceae
Common name: Gloxinia, Florist's Gloxinia, Brazilian Gloxinia

Description

Gloxinia also called Florist's Gloxinia or Brazilian Gloxinia is a popular houseplant on account of its large, velvety brightly colored blooms and its compact size which allows it to fit in limited spaces.

The leaves in Gloxinia are dark green, hairy, oval-shaped and form a basal rosette.

The major requirements for Gloxinia to thrive are steady warmth, consistently moist soil, good lighting, high humidity and regular feeding.

To keep Gloxinia thriving, keep it away from drafty conditions, regularly remove dead flowers and damaged leaves and do not leave the soil to dry out for a long period.

Keep the Gloxinia moderately pot-bound to promote flowering. Use a plastic pot to reduce water loss as they like the soil to be consistently moist.

Size

Gloxinia is a compact tuberous, shrub which grows to a height of 8 in. and a width of about 10 in.

Flowers

The flowers are large, velvety, brightly colored borne on thin stems above the foliage. They may be single-flowered or double-flowered and come in a range of colors like white, pink, purple, lavender, red, spotted and other patterns.

Origin

Sinningia speciosa is native to the tropical regions of Brazil.

Buy beautiful and healthy Gloxinia Plants (Sinningia speciosa) from Etsy.

Related Plants

Gloxinia care is similar to that of its close relatives African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha), Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus hybrida) and Flame Violet (Episcia cupreata).

Gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa

Photo Credit: Daraz

Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) Care Indoors

Light Requirements

Gloxinia grows best in bright indirect light away from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause scorching on the leaves.

Gloxinias will also thrive under grow light where natural light in not sufficient.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that your Gloxinia gets adequate light on all sides for uniform growth and prevent lopsided growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Gloxinia

Water Gloxinia thoroughly and keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to slightly dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Being a tropical plant, water your Gloxinia with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant as it can lead to reduced growth.

Gloxinias are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water therefore use chlorine-free water only. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Avoid wetting the foliage and water from the bottom or use the immersion method. Wetting the foliage can lead to crown and stem rot.


Temperature

Gloxinia thrives in average warmth within the range of 18-240C. A temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for Gloxinia.

Protect the plant from cold and hot draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Gloxinia has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is adequate for this plant.

However, for lush growth and to reduce pest infestation, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves of your Gloxinia by gently brushing off the dust with a soft brush. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Do not wash or mist the leaves as it can lead to crown and stem rot.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Gloxinia every 2-3 weeks with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season to promote flowering.

Withhold feeding during the cold season growth is minimal at this time and it can cause to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Keep Gloxinia pot-bound to promote flowering. Repot at the beginning of the growing period only when the soil becomes compacted.

Use a pot which is half as wide as the Gloxinia and free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter like African Violet potting mix.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting of your plant.

Pruning

Pruning Gloxinia is easy. Remove spent blooms and any side shoots to encourage development of more flowers. Get rid of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy.

Remove the bottom 2-4 leaves monthly to balance out the appearance and to encourage growth of new leaves. The leaves can be used to propagate new plants.

The Gloxinia can be cut back at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

What to do with Gloxina after flowering

Gloxina requires to undergo a dormancy rest period to induce flowering. After flowering, place the plant in a cool place and reduce watering.

When the leaves dry, cut them away with a sharp sterilized knife or a pair of scissors.

Allow the soil to dry out and retain the tubers in their pot. Store the pots in a dark location at 15-180C for about 2-3 months.

After this rest period, repot the tubers in fresh soil and moisten the soil lightly until there is new growth.

Then, place the pots in bright indirect light, water, fertilizer and begin routine care.

Propagation

Gloxinias can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from leaf cuttings, from seeds or by plant division.

1. How to propagate Gloxinia from leaf cuttings

Take an Gloxinia leaf cutting with the petiole still attached. Insert the leaf petiole in moist, free-draining soil and cover with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place but away from direct sunlight to avoid cooking the leaf cuttings.

Maintain the soil moist through out until new growth is observed. New Gloxinia plants should develop at the base of the petiole in about 4-6 weeks.

Carefully seperate the new Gloxinia plants and plant them in individual pots. Place the set up in warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out.

Allow the new Gloxinia plants to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

2. How to propagate Gloxinias from seeds

Spread the Gloxinia seeds evenly on moist, free-draining soil and do not cover with any soil as the seeds are very tiny.

Cover the set up with a plastic sheet to create a greenhouse effect and place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place.

Maintain the soil moist through out by gently misting the soil surface. Thinning of crowded seedlings can be done when the leaves are about 1/4 in. wide.

Transplant the new Gloxinia plants when the largest leaf is about 0.5 in. wide after which you can begin routine care.

3. How to propagate Gloxinia by plant division

Water the Gloxinia thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.

Carefully divide a large Gloxinia plant into sections while ensuring each section has enough roots.

Pot these Gloxinia sections into individual pots in moist, free-draining soil.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist until the new Gloxinia plant is well established.

Gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa

Photo Credit: Plants Guru

Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) Problems Indoors

Gloxina problems include flower bud drop, lack of blooms, yellowing leaves, leaf spots, pests among others. Read more on these problems and how to fix them.

Flower drop

Flower drop in Gloxinia is due to three possible causes. One possible cause of flower drop is soggy soil.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. Also, reduce watering in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

The second cause of flower drop in Gloxinia is underwatering. Water the plant thoroughly and maintain the soil moist during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third possible cause of flower drop in Gloxinia is sudden changes in the growing conditions; lighting, temperature, humidity and so on.

Do not move or repot a Gloxinia that is in flower. The sudden changes will cause plant shock which can result in flower drop and sometimes leaf drop.

The fourth possible cause of flower drop in Gloxinia is dry air (low humidity). Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise himidity for houseplants.

No blooms (flowers)

There are six possible reasons why Gloxinia is not blooming. One possible reason why Gloxinia is not blooming is insufficient light.

Move the plant to a brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light for about 12 hrs a day to coax the plant to bloom. It can also grow under grow light where natural light in not sufficient.

The second possible reason why Gloxinia is not blooming is improper feeding. The plant needs to be fed with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks to promote flowering.

The third possible reason why Gloxinia is not blooming is very dry air. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise himidity for houseplants.

The fourth possible reason why Gloxinia is not blooming is too frequent repotting. The plant blooms best when they are pot-bound; repot the plant only when its is extremely pot-bound.

The fifth possible reason why Gloxinia is not blooming is failure to remove the lower leaves. Too many leaves cause the plant to divert energy to developing the leaves rather than the flowers.

The sixth possible reason why Gloxinia is not blooming is very cold air. Protect the plant from cold draughts as an average warmth within the range of 18-240C is necessary for optimum growth and flowering.

Brown leaf spots

Brown leaf spots in Gloxinia are caused by water droplets falling on the leaves during watering. Avoid wetting the leaves or water the plant from the bottom only.

Yellow leaves

There are four possible reasons for yellow leaves in Gloxinia. One possible reason for yellow leaves in Gloxinia is dry air.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise himidity for houseplants.

The second possible reason for yellow leaves in Gloxinia is too much sunlight. Do not expose the plant to direct sunlight but provide it with bright filtered light.

The third possible reason for yellow leaves in Gloxinia is incorrect watering. Maintain the soil consitently moist and do not allow the soil ball to dry out.

The fourth possible reason for yellow leaves in Gloxinia is overfeeding. Feed the plant every 2-3 weeks with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer.

Straw-colored patches on leaves

Straw-colored patches on the leaves of Gloxinia are caused by too much direct sunlight. The leaf edges may also turn yellow and holes may develop on the leaves.

Do not expose the plant to direct sunlight. The best light for Gloxinia is bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light in not sufficient.

Pale-green leaves with long stalks and curled leaf edges

Pale green leaves with long stalks and curled leaf edges in Gloxinia are caused by too cold temperature brought about by cold drafts.

Maintain an average warmth within the range of 18-240C and protect it from cold draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature.

Limp leaves and rotten crown center

Limp leaves and a rotten crown center in Gloxinia is an indication of crown-rot disease due to overwatering and wide fluctuations in temperature.

The disease is infectious and difficult to control. Remove and destroy the affected plant as soon as possible to prevent spread to other houseplants.

Moldy leaves and flowers

Moldy leaves and flowers in Gloxinia are an indication of botrytis or powdery mildew.

Do not mist Gloxinia as moisture on the foliage creates suitable conditions for these diseases. Cut off diseased parts and keep the affected plant warm while ensuring good air circulation

Pests

The common pests in Gloxinia are Mealy Bugs, Fungus Gnats, Scale Insects, Spider Mites and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) toxic?

Gloxinias (Sinningia speciosa) are non-toxic to both humans and pets as listed by American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They are safe to grow indoors.

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