Gloxinia (Latin Gloxinia) is a perennial shrub or tuberous herb. Belongs to the Gesneriaceae family. It grows mainly on river banks, in deciduous forests, or in rocky areas in Central and South America.
There are about 25 species, but only a few of them are grown at home.
It is appreciated for its elegant, lush, amazingly beautiful flowering.
The indoor plant has a shortened stem and bright green foliage. The flowers are velvety, in the form of bells: white, red, purple, mixed coloring occurs when one color changes into another. Flower petals are simple, wavy and double.
Gloxinia - popular types:
Gloxinia royal (Gloxinia regina) - differs in thickened stems about 10-12 cm tall. The leaves are dark green, oval, opposite. The flowers are axillary, purple in color, large enough up to 8 cm in diameter. It blooms for three summer months.
Gloxinia fine (Gloxinia speciosa) - leaves are wide, oval, narrowed towards the base, green in color. Flowering surprises with a riot of colors, variegated bell flowers are most often at the edges of a light shade, and closer to the center it is noticeably darker, with beautiful edging and a variety of colors. The flowering period is from March to June.
Gloxinia speckled (Gloxinia perennis) - stands out among other species for its large size, grows to 65-75 cm in height. The leaves are pointed, velvety, with small barely noticeable villi over the entire surface. Blooms in early autumn. During this period, the room is filled with a pleasant mint aroma, which exude purple-blue or pink flowers with white specks.
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A luxurious flower will look beautiful on your windowsill, create a festive mood and will not cause much trouble. This is not a capricious flower, but it has its own characteristics and requirements: bright diffused light, sufficient humidity, long daylight hours (12-14 hours) and protection from drafts.
Lighting. It prefers diffused light, direct sunlight leaves burns on the leaves, so if your windows face south, be sure to shade the plant. The ideal option for placing a flowerpot with gloxinia is the east or west side of the apartment. The plant will feel uncomfortable on the windowsill of the northern window, due to the lack of light, the leaves will fade and lose their decorative appearance.
Temperature. Gloxinia is a heat-loving plant, the optimum air temperature for growing it is 18-22 ° C. During the rest period 14-15 ° C. Protect from drafts and temperature changes, this can have a detrimental effect on the plant, so it is not recommended to take the flower out into the garden, on the veranda or balcony.
Air humidity. High humidity is necessary, but the flower should not be sprayed, water getting on the leaf plate can be harmful. It is better to just install a container with water or wet expanded clay next to the plant. An excellent solution would be an aquarium located nearby, this will favorably affect the well-being of the plant.
Watering. During the flowering period, watering is abundant, the rest of the time after the topsoil dries. Pay attention to the watering technique: pour water along the edge of the pot, make sure that drops do not fall on the leaves and flowers. Water should be purified, separated, at room temperature.
Top dressing. You need to feed the flower every 10-14 days. Use an all-purpose fertilizer designed for flowering plants. From mid-August to early March, feeding stops. If you overdo it with fertilization, the plant may lose its decorative effect, slow down its growth, the color of the flowers will fade, the buds will decrease in size, and the flowering period will end faster. Take the dosage half as much as indicated in the instructions.
Transfer. Once a year, in February, a transplant is carried out into a new flowerpot. The potting mix is the same as used for begonias and violets. Inspect the tuber before planting, remove the dried roots, rinse with water and plant in a pre-prepared pot with a mandatory drainage layer at the bottom. It is better to choose a pot for a plant not too high, but wide, since the roots grow strongly in width. Do not deepen the tuber too deep, it is enough to sprinkle it with a small layer of earth, otherwise the shoots may not germinate.
Trimming and shaping. It does not need special formation. To extend the flowering period, cut off the faded pedicels immediately.
Bloom. In mature plants, flowering lasts about four months. Abundant flowering, the most varied color of flowers, bright, saturated shades.
Reproduction. The following propagation methods are used: seeds, leaf cuttings and tuber division. It is most usual to propagate by dividing the tuber. To do this, cut a healthy and overgrown tuber of an adult plant into pieces with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the cuts with crushed charcoal and let dry. Then plant each part of the tuber in a separate pot, with prepared moist soil. No need to water for the first three to five days.
For propagation by leaf cuttings, a leaf with a part of the root is carefully cut off from a flowering plant and rooted in a mixture of peat and sand. To maintain the desired temperature (23 ° C), it is better to cover the top with a glass jar. A small tuber that appears indicates successful rooting, now you can transplant the cutting into a separate flowerpot.
Diseases and pests. Whiteflies, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects can harm the plant. Inspect the flower regularly; at an early stage, you can quickly deal with ill-wishers. For these purposes, use known insecticidal preparations.
Improper care often causes problems and diseases of gloxinia, here are the main ones:
If the tuber decays, remove it from the soil, rinse with water, remove the affected areas with a knife, treat the cut points with charcoal. Leave in fresh air for a day, and then plant in new soil.
Plant in winter. In autumn, the leaves and roots of the flower dry out, the remaining tuber should be stored in a cool, shaded place (14-15 ° C). No more than once a month, lightly dampen the soil around the tuber to keep the root from drying out.