Can you grow too much of a good thing? Yes I think so. There are only so many plants you can accommodate in the garden, house or even through life. So as part of enjoying the growing aspect of gardening I have started to deliberately grow for giving plants away in this case Gloxinia.
Selecting the Gift
- A plant in flower is far more attractive than one the recipient has to grow-on or wait to see how it looks.
- A plant that still has lots of buds to open or develop will extend the pleasure. (See the latent buds on the next photo).
- Presenting the present in an appropriate way is worth a bit of effort. I have been buying a range of bowls and plant pot holders from charity shops to act as containers. In many cases I can colour co-ordinate to match container and plant. Artistically minded may want to add a label or bespoke wrapping.
- Not everyone believes the Gloxinia I am giving are houseplants so I should consider providing a bit more information.
Simple Advice For Gifted Gloxinia
- Gloxinia like plenty of bright light without direct burning sun.
- Turn the pot round so the plant and flowers develop evenly. They love to bend towards the light.
- Water from the bottom when the compost is dry and the leaves are floppy. Err on the side of too little rather than too much water.
- After flowering which may last 6-8 weeks, allow the plant to rest and die back.
- Keep the dry tuber until next spring if you want to try to regrow your gift.
Tips on Growing Gloxinia
Tubers or corms may be found under the name Sinningia speciosa or Gloxinia and are part of the Gesneriaceae family that includes African Violets. They have been grown as florists gloxinia since being discovered in Brazil in 1815.
- Plant shallowly in good compost with the buds facing upwards, this is usually the concave side like begonias.
- Water the compost with warm water from the bottom to stop the tuber rotting and keep the atmosphere humid without getting the leaves or flowers wet or they will be stained with brown blotches.
- If the furry leaves elongate it is a sign they need more light.
- Do not expose to direct mid-day sun as the leaves are liable to become scorched.
- Gloxinia like a temperature above 60º when in growth.
- Plastic pots are fine but I add some grit or perlite to help avoid water logging.
- Feed with half strength liquid fertiliser