Set them as the table centerpiece at a barbeque or garden party and you’ll receive many compliments. This distant relative of the African Violet has large velvety leaves, but their abundant flowers are simply gorgeous. Enchanting cup shaped blossoms in rich vivid hues bloom continuously for at least 3-4 months.
1) Often gifted at housewarmings, Gloxinia make spectacular houseplants during winter months. But they’ll easily make the move from indoors to outdoors in the summer, especially if you start growing the tubers in late February to early March.
2) Start with a container at least 4-6” in diameter with a drain hole and saucer. Gloxinia grow to 20 cm (8”) in height. Try grouping 2-3 tubers in larger containers for more impact. Plant the tubers hollow side up, ½ inch deep, in a moistened well-draining potting soil mix.
Water sparingly to keep the soil moist until the first leaves begin to grow. Gloxinia are sensitive to cold water, so lukewarm water is best. Water only when the soil feels dry and avoid watering gloxinia leaves directly. From below, place the pot in a shallow saucer of water and let it sit for about an hour.
3) Once leaves appear, begin feeding Gloxinia with half-strength bloom fertilizer when watering. Gradually increase fertilizer strength as your Gloxinia grows. The blooming cycle begins about four months after planting and lasts as long as 3-4 months. Start tubers in early March and you’ll see flowers by July and into fall. Gloxinia enjoy bright indirect light, a north east facing window is an ideal situation indoors. Outdoors, sheltered locations that receive partial shade in the afternoon are perfect. Enjoy them all summer, just remember to bring them back inside before the first frost.