How to Grow and Care for Gloxinia Hybrids
Updated: 12 Nov, 2023
Gloxinia hybrids offer excellent value for gardening enthusiasts, providing a vibrant display that won’t break the bank. These swiftly growing plants, reaching a modest height of 12 inches, boast lush, velvety leaves reminiscent of African violets. What sets them apart are their oversized, frilly, bell-shaped flowers, available in a dazzling array of vivid hues. Whether in double or single-flower varieties, they make stunning centerpieces for tables or windowsills, especially in partially shaded locations.
While the majority of gloxinias in the market stem from Sinningia speciosa, breeders have expanded the palette by crossbreeding with other members of the Sinningia genus, such as Sinningia regina. This crossbreeding has yielded a captivating spectrum of colors and flower forms, including charming stripes and double blossoms.
Cultivating gloxinia is a straightforward endeavor, and those experienced with African violets will likely find success with these plants. For enthusiasts living outside their hardiness zones, springtime allows for outdoor placement or planting. Despite being tuberous and capable of regrowth, it’s advisable to replace bloomed plants, as they won’t regain their initial vitality. Among fervent gloxinia cultivators, the pursuit often centers on amassing a diverse collection of colors and flower shapes.
|6-10 inches tall and wide
|Partial shade to full shade
|White, red, pink, lavender, purple, or blue
What are Gloxinia hybrids?
Gloxinia hybrids are plants that result from crossbreeding within the Sinningia genus, predominantly involving Sinningia speciosa. These hybrids are characterized by their relatively quick growth, reaching a modest height of around 12 inches. They feature large, velvety leaves, reminiscent of African violets, and are particularly known for their distinctive bell-shaped flowers.
The flowers come in a variety of bright and captivating colors, making Gloxinia hybrids popular among gardening enthusiasts. The breeding process involves crossing Sinningia speciosa with other plants from the Sinningia genus, such as Sinningia regina, leading to a wide range of flower forms and colors, including double flowers and unique patterns. Gloxinia hybrids are versatile and can be cultivated as attractive centerpieces, especially in locations with partial shade.
Gloxinia Hybrids Care
Don’t jump to the conclusion that your plant has met its end once it ceases flowering. It could simply be undergoing the typical growth cycle of tuberous plants, where a dry tuber prompts a burst of leaf growth, followed by blooming, and eventual dieback. Although it’s currently possible to propagate gloxinia from their tubers, it’s worth considering them as annuals. Due to their inability to reclaim their initial splendor after flowering, it’s advisable to view them as temporary delights and discard the plants once the blooming phase concludes.
Gloxinia thrives in conditions of partial to full shade. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight; instead, provide bright, indirect light for optimal growth.
Maintain consistently moist soil throughout the growing and blooming seasons. If planning to repot after flowering, reduce watering as the leaves fade. Repot into fresh soil and resume regular watering once new growth appears. Opt for a loose, well-draining, slightly acidic potting mix—formulated for gardenias or African violets—for the best results.
Ensure frequent watering to keep the soil consistently moist. When watering, be cautious not to let the water touch the leaves, as this can lead to the formation of brown spots.
Temperature and Humidity:
Maintain an average temperature between 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Gloxinia is not fond of dry heat, so provide humidity. However, refrain from directly spraying water on its velvety leaves, as misting can promote fungal diseases.
During the growing season, apply liquid fertilizer or controlled-release fertilizer as directed on the label. Reduce fertilizer during dormancy for optimal plant care.
Propagating Gloxinia Hybrids
Gloxinia propagation is a straightforward process. During the plant’s active growth phase, you can easily create new plants by taking leaf cuttings and sprouting them in either damp sand or seed-starting soil. Another method involves dividing the tubers when repotting and transplanting tuber pieces into separate pots. However, it’s important to note that many contemporary gloxinias, while bred for impressive flower size, generally do not recapture their initial magnificence after reblooming.
Gloxinia Features An Overview
Gloxinia, a captivating flowering plant, boasts several distinctive features that make it a popular choice among gardening enthusiasts. Here’s an overview of its key characteristics:
Gloxinia is renowned for its large, bell-shaped flowers that come in a wide array of vibrant colors. These blossoms are often reminiscent of African violets and can be found in both single and double-flower forms.
The flowers exhibit a unique ruffled appearance, adding an element of elegance to the plant.
The plant features velvety leaves that contribute to its lush and attractive appearance. The leaves are typically large and add to the overall visual appeal of the plant.
Gloxinia is a fast-growing plant, reaching a modest height of around 12 inches. Its rapid growth, coupled with the impressive size of its flowers, makes it a dynamic addition to gardens or indoor spaces.
Most of the gloxinias available in the market today are hybrids of the species Sinningia speciosa. These hybrids result from crossing with other plants from the Sinningia genus, such as Sinningia regina.
Hybridization has led to a diverse range of colors and flower forms, including striped and double flowers, creating a captivating kaleidoscope of options for enthusiasts.
Gloxinia prefers partial to full shade conditions, making it suitable for indoor spaces or shaded garden areas.
It requires well-draining, slightly acidic soil, and maintaining consistent soil moisture is crucial, especially during the growing and blooming seasons.
Gloxinia is relatively easy to propagate. Leaf cuttings can be taken during the active growth phase and sprouted in damp sand or seed-starting soil. Additionally, tubers can be divided during repotting to create new plants.
Repotting is recommended in late winter, after the previous growing season has concluded and the leaves have died back. Fresh, slightly acidic soil in a slightly larger pot should be provided for optimal growth.
Although gloxinia is a tuberous plant capable of regrowth, bloomed plants are often discarded, as they may not regain their original vigor.
Potting and Repotting Gloxinia Hybrids
When considering repotting, it’s advisable to refrain from disturbing gloxinia during its active growth phase. The optimal repotting time is in late winter, after the conclusion of the previous year’s growing season and when the leaves have naturally withered. During the repotting process, transfer the tuber to a slightly larger pot filled with fresh, slightly acidic soil, and resume regular watering. Expect new leaves to emerge from the tuber, marking the plant’s resumption of growth until the next flowering phase. It’s worth noting that flowering can occur at any time throughout the year.
Common Pests and Diseases
Gloxinia, while generally resilient, can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases that may affect its health and appearance. Understanding these common issues is essential for effective plant care:
- Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can cluster on the undersides of leaves, causing distortion and yellowing. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control aphid infestations.
- Spider Mites: These tiny arachnids can create fine webbing on the plant and cause stippling on leaves. Increase humidity and use insecticidal soap to combat spider mites.
- Mealybugs: White, cotton-like pests often hide in leaf axils and joints, sucking plant sap. Remove them manually or use insecticidal soap.
- Thrips: Thrips feed on plant juices, leaving behind silvery or bronzed areas on leaves. Insecticidal soap or predatory insects can help control thrips.
- Botrytis Blight: This fungal disease can cause grayish-brown lesions on leaves and flowers. Improve air circulation, avoid overhead watering, and treat with fungicides if necessary.
- Powdery Mildew: A white, powdery substance on leaves indicates powdery mildew. Ensure good air circulation, avoid overcrowding plants, and treat with fungicides as needed.
- Rhizoctonia Root Rot: This soil-borne fungus can lead to the rotting of roots. Avoid overwatering, provide well-draining soil, and use fungicides if necessary.
- Leaf Spot: Circular, dark spots on leaves may indicate a bacterial or fungal leaf spot. Remove infected leaves, improve air circulation, and use fungicides if needed.
To maintain a healthy gloxinia, regular monitoring, proper watering practices, and maintaining optimal growing conditions can help prevent and address these common pests and diseases.
What is the average height of Gloxinia hybrids?
Gloxinia hybrids typically reach a modest height of around 12 inches, making them suitable for various indoor and outdoor settings.
What distinguishes Gloxinia hybrids from other plants?
The standout features of Gloxinia hybrids include their fast growth, large velvety leaves reminiscent of African violets, and striking bell-shaped flowers that come in a range of vibrant colors.
How do I care for Gloxinia hybrids?
Gloxinias are relatively easy to care for. They thrive in partially shaded locations, and if you can successfully grow African violets, you’re likely to be successful with Gloxinias. In hardiness zones outside their range, they can be planted or placed outdoors in the spring.
What makes Gloxinia hybrids unique in terms of colors and flower forms?
Most Gloxinia hybrids on the market today are derived from Sinningia speciosa. By crossing this species with others from the Sinningia genus, such as Sinningia Regina, breeders have created a diverse array of colors and flower forms, including striped and double flowers.
Can Gloxinias be grown outdoors?
Yes, outside of their hardiness zones, Gloxinias can be placed or planted outdoors in the spring. This provides an opportunity for those in different climates to enjoy these vibrant plants.
What is the regrowth process for Gloxinias after blooming?
Gloxinias are tuberous plants, and they typically regrow from the underground tuber after blooming. However, it’s recommended to discard bloomed plants, as they may not regain their original vigor.
How difficult is it to grow Gloxinias compared to African violets?
Gloxinias are not especially hard to grow, and individuals who can successfully grow African violets are likely to find similar success with Gloxinias.
What is the common goal among Gloxinia enthusiasts?
Among Gloxinia enthusiasts, a common goal is to collect as many colors and flower shapes as possible, given the diverse range produced through crossbreeding within the Sinningia genus.
Gloxinia hybrids stand out as an excellent choice for gardening enthusiasts, offering a burst of color and elegance without requiring an expert green thumb. With their manageable height of 12 inches, velvety leaves, and vibrant bell-shaped flowers, these plants make striking additions to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
The beauty of Gloxinia hybrids lies not only in their aesthetic appeal but also in the creative efforts of breeders. By crossing Sinningia speciosa with other species within the Sinningia genus, such as Sinningia Regina, a captivating kaleidoscope of colors and flower forms has been achieved, ranging from striped to double blossoms.