How to grow a gloxinia plant
Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) has oblong fuzzy leaves, large velvety bell- shaped flowers with ruffled edges. This tender tuberous perennial is a member of the Gesneriaceae family, a relative of the African Violet.
In Dec-March plant the rounded bottom of the tubers 1 inch deep in a light, well drained, potting soil that consists of peat moss, perlite, vermiculite and/or coarse sand. Water lightly until the leaves start to show then increase watering.
Like african violets, gloxinia need to be watered around the base of the plant or from the bottom. With bottom watering, let the plant soak in a saucer for up to an hour and then remove. Do not let the water sit in the bottom of the saucer. Since they are sensitive to cold water, avoid splashing cold water on the leaves or in the crown of the plant. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy and not allowed to dry out.
Gloxinia needs bright filtered light, high humidity, warm temperatures around 70F and in the 60’s when in bloom. Fertilize weekly with a well-balanced houseplant fertilizer when actively growing and during bloom time. Stop fertilizing after bloom.
After bloom care
When finished flowering and the leaves begin to yellow and die back, reduce watering and allow the plant to go into a dormant period. Store the tuberous stem @ 50F in a cool, dark place for 2-4 months in dry soil. When new growth begins to show (Jan-Feb), repot the tuber in fresh soil in a 6″ pot. Move it to bright filtered light and resume watering.
Gloxinias prefer the shade outdoors and bright light indoors.
Low light will produce long spindly growth and no blooms.
Soggy soil, overwatering can cause crown rot and root rot
Reddish-brown center leaves indicate -cyclamen mites
Deformed leaves with cuts or ragged edges-thrips