Gloxinia, or beautiful sinningia, attracts indoor plant lovers with rich shades of its buds, lush greenery and a very decorative appearance. Easy home care makes it an excellent choice for growing on a windowsill or spacious balcony, terrace or veranda. Indoor varieties are quite diverse and allow you to bring a real riot of colors to the interior, and planting with a tuber prevents possible problems with growing a seedling. However, this South American beauty is famous not only for the richness of colors.
In order for gloxinia to delight its owners for a long time with a luxurious appearance, you have to make some efforts. This flower can have diseases, it needs proper feeding and providing certain conditions for keeping. Then the result of cultivating beautiful sinningia will be truly worthy.
Today, the indoor views of this exotic guest are as diverse as possible in their appearance. But the main features always remain characteristic of her. Gloxinia was first discovered and described in Brazil in 1975, but modern varieties have evolved not from the speckled, but from the beautiful variety of this flower. It was brought to Europe from the South American tropics already in the 19th century.
It is worth noting that the beautiful gloxinia, brought from Brazil to the UK, is also called synningia, in honor of one of the outstanding botanists, Wilhelm Sinning, who cultivated this flower for many years. In many ways, the modern variety of hybrids, fans of this plant owe it to him. But gardeners use another option, following the French version of the spelling of its name assigned to a wild plant. And for many decades, both options remain in use.
The tropical perennial gloxinia from the Gesneriev family looks remarkable. The plant has a large rhizome, the upper part looks like a herbaceous shrub. The natural growth conditions of this flower are rocky surfaces from the Mexican part of the Andes, river banks and deciduous forests of Brazil.
Indoor gloxinia has a short stem, on which there are pubescent velvety leaves of a rich green hue. Flowers also have a fleecy surface, bell-shaped, can be double or regular. Brightness of color is inherent mainly in hybrids - their natural form is most often purple or red. But thanks to breeders, flower growers have the opportunity to breed white and speckled, pink and ruffled options. The length of the inflorescence can reach 5 cm, the diameter is 7 cm.
Reproduction takes place using seeds or leaf cuttings. In total, there are 25 species of gloxinia in nature, but only two of them are used in breeding work.
- Gloxinia regina . For the royal gloxinia, silvery veins on pubescent leaves, a drooping shape and a significant length of peduncles are characteristic. The shade of the bells is deep purple, rich and deep. The stem is thick, gaining height up to 10 cm.
- Gloxinia Speciosa. The herbaceous form of the plant has uniformly colored green leaves and a wide variety of color and shape variations. Terry and two-color forms are distinguished here.
In fact, it was these two species that became the ancestors of all cultural gloxinia that exist today.
Exotic plants often require the creation of strictly defined conditions for them. Among the features of gloxinia that novice growers should know, the following points can be distinguished:
- the plant has a dormant period, after the completion of the flowering phase, its aerial part dies off;
- in the period before the seasonal "sleep", nitrogen-free feeding is required;
- when choosing a pot for planting, it is worth giving preference to options of at least 15 cm in diameter;
- for year-round flowering, you will need to equip the plants with a warm rack with a lamp that allows you to provide at least 14 hours of daylight hours.
Thidea, with which gloxinia is often confused, has its own characteristic differences that allow specialists to determine the botanical belonging of flowers quite accurately. First of all, the difference is visible in the shape of the inflorescence. In Tidea, this is a "slipper", while the gloxinia bell has a more regular shape. The size and structure of the tuber also differ. Tydea has a smaller size, in addition, the surface of this part of the plant has a scaly structure.
The variety of hybrid varieties is one of the most striking differences between Gloxinia and many other beautifully flowering plants. The most popular ones look very impressive and can grow up to 30 cm in height. To determine which seed option to choose for planting, it is worth considering varietal gloxinia in more detail, having studied their description .
- "Impress blue ink" has a characteristic color. Snow-white dots are scattered against the rich background of the indigo shade, the golden core dilutes the composition, giving it sophistication. Large inflorescences are formed on the bush in large quantities, which looks very expressive and decorative against the background of lush green leaves.
- "Little Negro" . Terry hybrid gloxinia has expressive blue petals with a deep velvety black tint. Against the background of green foliage with silvery veins, they look incredibly impressive. Large flowers are up to 12 cm in diameter; buds form best when grown in a cool, well-lit place. The bush is quite high, reaching 25 cm.
- "Strawberry Shake". Intense pink-raspberry color of terry gloxinia variety "Strawberry Shake" looks elegant and attractive. The flowers have a compact rosette and short stalks, a small bush. The petals are strewn with bright crimson-speckled dots.
- "Defiance" . A spectacular variety of gloxinia "Defiance" has a rich scarlet color of petals, has a pronounced bell-shaped inflorescences. The plant has a long flowering, compact bush grows up to 25 cm in height.
- "The Snow Queen". Luxurious gloxinia looks especially impressive due to the presence of erect shoots on a low, up to 10 cm, bush. The rich green leaves are covered with a silvery gossamer pattern. Large bell-shaped flowers have an unusual purple color to the edges of the petals, turning into an almost white color.
- "Starry sky" . White peas on a velvet-blue background - this is how the color of a gloxinia flower of the Starry Sky variety looks like. The main tone varies from almost black to pale lilac, tall flower stalks hold double buds well, the bush is compactly formed, flowering is long.
- Blanche de Meroux . The white throat and the outer part of the petal, combined with the lush crimson border, is what makes this gloxinia variety stand out. It is characterized by the formation of a large leaf rosette - up to 25 cm in diameter. When properly cared for, the cultivar provides long, continuous flowering, abundantly covering green shoots with spectacular flower bells.
- "Friedrich" or "Kaiser Friedrich". A rich dessert-crimson, with a white center and a wide snow-white border around the edges of the petals, the gloxinia looks like a true queen of flowers. The bells are large and look very decorative. But in order to achieve abundant flowering, you have to make a lot of effort.
The variety is capricious in terms of feeding, soil moisture level, nutrient content. But all efforts will be rewarded with the beautiful flowering of this gloxinia.
- "Kaiser Wilhelm". The deep purple hue and contrasting white edging of the petals are harmoniously combined with an unusual core in specks. Due to the high arrangement of the peduncle, the buds open wide above the leaves, standing out against their background. The lush rosette, fully opening, becomes slightly wavy at the edges. Flowering is characterized by bouquet formation of flowers, long-term preservation of the splendor of foliage.
May lose color brightness when placed in bright light.
- "Tigrina Red". The variety implies the possibility of growing flowers, in which a red border around the edges is combined with a white center and bright contrasting polka dots - a scattering of small dots. The corolla has a scarlet or purple hue, it can have either the shape of a bell or a shoe. Flowering usually lasts from spring to autumn. The plant supports an exclusively vegetative propagation mode, since it belongs to the category of hybrids. It will not work to get seed from him.
- "Yesenia". Gentle terry gloxinia "Yesenia" belongs to the group of Dutch breeding hybrids and is one of the ten most popular varieties. The plant can grow up to 30 cm in height, the leaves form rosettes on a short petiole. The flowers are large enough, in a semi-open form they resemble pink buds. When the bud is fully opened, a contrasting white or pink border is visible along the edges of the crimson petals. Flowering is long, the bouquet form of the bush is preserved, it looks very decorative.
First of all, the culture will need a spacious shelf or windowsill to accommodate the pot. In the conditions of the autumn-winter season, you will have to install additional lighting, move the pot to a warm place. The minimum duration of backlighting should be 12 hours per day. In addition, there are other guidelines for growing this exotic flower.
In natural growing conditions - the tropics, gloxinia receives at least 12-14 hours of contact with the rays of the sun. Accordingly, within the framework of indoor floriculture, the owner himself should be responsible for the lighting. It is worth paying attention to the leaves.
When stretching upwards and intensive growth of the stem, the plant signals that the available light is clearly not enough for it. Despite the need for long-term preservation of contact with the source of ultraviolet radiation, this flower is afraid of direct sunlight.
It is impossible to use it in open space, since the direct rays of the sun for a fragile and delicate perennial are destructive in the literal sense.
Temperature and humidity
Choosing the correct temperature and humidity conditions is a prerequisite for growing gloxinia. The plant does not tolerate drafts and contact with cold. That is why, when installing on a window sill, you will have to forget about airing before the hot summer days. Compliance with the plant's natural moisture regime can also cause a lot of trouble.
The flower needs a large amount of moisture evaporated nearby, but excludes the use of spraying, since it does not tolerate direct contact of flowers and leaves with water.
Temperature regime is another important point in floriculture. For the growing season, it will be sufficient to maintain a room temperature exceeding the range of 20-25 degrees Celsius. It is better to put the pot in a cool place during rest. During this period, the optimal temperature range will be up to +10 degrees. Gloxinia is an amazing plant that can quite actively express its needs with the help of leaves.
If the temperature is above normal, the leaves on the petioles will stretch upward. When they freeze, they will drop and lie along the edge of the pot.
The watering process is also very important for any plant. Gloxinia during the period of its vital activity should be provided with moisture through the addition of water to a tray or stand. Top watering is also permissible, but requires jewelry precision - the introduction of the liquid should be exclusively root.
Do not renew the supply of moisture until the substrate dries. In preparation for the resting period, the frequency of watering is further reduced, helping the gloxinia to enter the stage it needs without significant discomfort. The water temperature for a flower should be slightly warmer than room temperature, it is pre-defended or filtered.
Gloxinia needs to be planted annually, after the end of the dormant period, in a new pot. The land is purchased in a regular store - a mixture for violets or a similar composition is suitable. With the independent formation of the planting soil, a combination of 1 part of sand, the same amount of humus and two parts of leaf earth is used. After wintering, in February, the tubers are removed from the old container along with a lump of soil on a well-drained base, sprinkled with new soil. Next, the substrate is poured so that it reaches half of the rhizome, but does not completely hide it.
Fertilization is carried out in the case of gloxinia once every 10 days during the entire growing season. After its expiration, the feeding cycle should be interrupted. The lack of additional intake of nutrients leads to the fact that the flower:
- becomes faded;
- demonstrates shrinking buds;
- slows down its growth;
- loses decorativeness;
- shortens the flowering period.
To prevent this from happening, you should carefully monitor the change in the state of the leaves. The formation of notches on their edges indicates that there is a lack of boron in the tissues of the flower. It is possible to compensate for its deficit by applying top dressing with borax solution (2%) with its introduction by the foliar method. But do not be too zealous - overfeeding in this case is much more dangerous than lack of nutrients.
When the gloxinia has faded, then there comes a period of preparation for the second appearance of the buds in the season. Usually, preparation for this stage should be carried out in May or early June. To do this, the stem is pruned, after which no more than 4 lower leaves remain on the plant. Stepchildren will form in their sinuses, among which one or two of the most powerful shoots must be left, the rest are destroyed.
Top dressing during this period is carried out twice. At the pinching stage, growth-enhancing compounds are introduced. When buds form, those that ensure the maintenance of the normal state of gloxinia during flowering. Timely carrying out of all procedures will greatly facilitate the life of an amateur flower grower, help him better cope with caring for an exotic green pet.
Secondary flowering is rarely very lush. However, in some cases this process turns out to be continuous and the buds form all summer. When the period of flower formation completely stops, it will be necessary to take care of reducing watering, completely remove top dressing, and wait until the leaves are completely dry. Further, in preparation for the dormant period, the entire top is cut off, no more than 1-2 cm of the stem remains above the ground (tuber).
After a dormant period
In the fall, somewhere around October, gloxinia goes to winter. To do this, she is sent to a clean, dark and cool place until the beginning of spring. During the winter, she needs no more than 1-2 watering sessions per month to avoid overdrying the tubers. The wintering process can take place in a room with high humidity - a bathroom, a laundry. If you plan to remove the tuber from the pot before wintering, you should do it right away in the fall, packing it in a plastic bag with a fastener.
First, the root is cleaned of soil residues, then the substrate and vermiculite are loaded into the storage container in equal amounts. In winter, such a package is placed in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator and does not require additional moisture or other worries. It will not be difficult to wake up the plant either - it will be enough to plant it in a pot, provide enough heat and light.
Young gloxinia grown from seed should be left in a pot for the winter, watering little by little and providing minimal feeding.
At the sight of the variety of gloxinia seeds in stores, it is difficult not to get excited about the idea of its selection at home. But few succeed in growing this flower on the first attempt. Do not be surprised at the germination period indicated on the package - up to 9 months. It is relevant mainly for late plantings.
But the seeds planted in March will appear quite quickly. It is better to purchase planting material in granules and germinate it without burying it in the soil, in mini-greenhouses, on peat tablets immersed in water, which form the necessary nutrient medium. You can create such a greenhouse based on a transparent plastic container by making ventilation holes in its lid. The temperature of the medium during germination should be +22 degrees or more. As moisture evaporates, its supply is replenished.
The material obtained from the seeds is transplanted after the formation of shoots. It can be divided into pots along with a peat tablet (it is better to use small cups at first). The tuber will form only in the second year of life. Until this moment, it is better not to interrupt the growing season for a dormant period.
While many garden flowers emerge from bulbs, tuber planting is typical for adult gloxinias. When it comes to growing a completely new plant, you can use the vegetative method. Cutting from a leaf is carried out using the smallest appendage. The resulting material is planted in a pot with a moistened substrate and placed in greenhouse conditions for a month.
After this period, the rooted cuttings will need to gradually provide an influx of fresh air, opening the protective film for a few minutes. Hardening gloxinia can take a long time. After the cuttings sprout, they can be transplanted into permanent pots and switched to normal growth at home without additional shelter.
Diseases and pests
If you take care of your flowers properly, you can almost 100% avoid problems with growing them. But even the most attentive and experienced owners sometimes get sick with gloxinia. Among the most common symptoms of diseases are the following.
- The formation of brown spots on the leaves. They are left by gray rot, and the only treatment is to completely remove the affected areas, followed by a fungicidal treatment.
- Darkening of the roots, the appearance of areas with a dark brown coating on them . The cause of the problem is a banal non-compliance with watering rules, leading to the development of brown rot.
- Folding leaves - they curl down, thicken, flowers begin to wither, shoots dry out. This is a sign of plant damage by parasites - cyclamen ticks.
- The formation of white dots on the leaves, the appearance of a thin web. This is how a parasite attack looks like - a spider mite that feeds on plant juices.
The treatment of the plant with the use of an insecticidal agent helps to defeat the attack of ticks - Karbofos or Aktara will do. As a prophylaxis for late blight, powdery mildew, fungi, it is worth periodically using "Fitosporin". If the infection has already taken place, processing is performed by "Fundazol".
Among the recommendations given by breeders, there are several that are very relevant for each grower:
- if the surface of the leaf is elongated, the shoots are directed upwards - this is talking about a lack of light;
- the formation of brown spots on the leaves is a reason to draw conclusions about improper watering (the water is too cold or is not applied at the root);
- the flowers are not visible under the leaves - it is worth rearranging the gloxinia to a warmer and lighter place;
- if the green shoots of the leaves have turned yellow and dried up, this may indicate problems with an excess of nutrients, contact with direct sunlight.
With proper care, the beauty of gloxinia will live at least 10 years and every year will bestow upon its owner more and more lush flowering.
For information on how to properly care for gloxinia, see the next video.