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28 Impressive and Easy Gloxinia Plant Care Tips

28 Impressive and Easy Gloxinia Plant Care Tips

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Gloxinia is quite popular among plant collectors because of its distinctive appearance and feel. It’s stunning and moderately easy to care for houseplants.

This post will share tips and tricks for keeping your Gloxinia healthy and happy. Are you looking to bring one home? Read on to learn where you can purchase this plant!

What Is Gloxinia?

Gloxinia is the common name for Florist’s Gloxinia, Sinningia, and Speciosa, which is known for its bright and striking flowers.

Gloxinias are bulbs or tubers and a relative of African Violet. These plants are perennials with a twist: they “die back” after blooming. After their dormant phase, they would grow again and delight with their bright, big, fresh flowers.

Most Gloxinias these days are hybrids cultivated to produce large numbers of blossoms quickly. For two months, they would give you beautiful blooms but would not flower anymore after that period. This is because the plant uses all of its energy to help the flowers grow, with little to no attention given to its roots. 

That said, keep in mind that if you have a cultivated Gloxinia, you will lose it after the plant expires. It may also be a nice idea to consider them annuals and let them go after the blooming season. So, give it all the TLC while it blooms and focus on flower care to keep it looking fresh and vibrant.

It can be placed as a houseplant near a north-facing window, and it can also be grown outside in hardiness zones 11-12.

Origin And Family

Florist’s Gloxinia, originally from Brazil, is part of the Sinningia genus from the family Gesneriaceae. Florist’s Gloxinia has become a popular indoor plant in recent years, thriving in most households that give it plenty of water.

John Fyfe discovered this cheery plant in 1845. It produces a large variety of velvety flowers from red, pink, white, lavender, blue, and purple flowers every summer.

Where To Buy

You can purchase Gloxinia at many nurseries and local plant stores. Ordering online from Etsy is also an easy and cost-efficient option. 

Gloxinia and Sinningia Speciosa are terms used interchangeably. That is because of a recent reclassification as the hybrids became more popular. Most Gloxinias sold in nurseries and other retail shops are hybrids. Nonetheless, hybrid or not, it’s a worthwhile purchase when you see how it gives life to your indoor garden.

Gloxinia has relatively expensive prices ranging from $10 for seeds to $30 for young plants in 2-inch pots.

Gloxinia Plant Size

When grown indoors, the Gloxinia grows to a height of 6-10 inches and spreads to a width of 6-8 inches. It grows at a moderate rate and thrives near a north-facing window.

Gloxinia Care Needs

Your Gloxinia, like other house plants, will thrive when adequately cared for. With its bright and striking flowers, this plant adores water and wants evenly moist soil throughout the year.

For most growers, water your Sinningia when the soil feels dry beyond a half-inch. In terms of lighting, this delightful plant needs bright indirect light to thrive.

For more detailed advice, please see our comprehensive care guide below!

Care Difficulty

Like many plants from the Sinningia genus, the Gloxinia is moderately easy to care for in most situations – if you give it the proper amount of light and water. With this Florist’s Gloxinia guide, you can quickly grow this stunning plant.

Growth Rate

The Speciosa plant grows 6-10 inches in height when grown to its maturity indoors. Its blooming season is in the spring and summer.

Most Sinningia species, including the Gloxinia, have a moderate growth rate.

Potting

In terms of size and potting material for this plant, a medium-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pot is often recommended. The important consideration is for your pot to have at least one drainage hole. Florist’s Gloxinia does not like sitting in water; otherwise, it may succumb to root rot and other fungal diseases.

Repotting

It’s crucial to repot your Gloxinia after the leaves have died “again.” Based on experience, this plant grows at a relatively moderate rate, so expect to repot to a larger pot every year after its growing season is done.

While repotting, you can give your Sinningia a nutrient boost by adding African violet or gardenia mix to replace the old material. Gloxinias are fragile plants, so take special care when repotting to avoid damaging their delicate leaves and stems.

You don’t need to repot if you’re growing this plant as an annual. 

Soil

An African violet or gardenia mix is a suitable choice for the Sinningia. Add components such as sifted peat moss, coarse sand, perlite, and some vermiculite to make your soil mix. Do not forget that this plant prefers an evenly moist growing medium.

Make sure your chosen soil type accommodates good drainage and aeration so the roots can breathe better.

We suggest the following potting mixes:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.99
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black...image SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.81
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

For the Speciosa, you’ll need acidic soil with around 5.5-6.5 pH. In most cases, African violet or gardenia mix is close to this acidic potting mix, so this shouldn’t be a significant concern.

Perform a pH test to determine the acidity of your soil. pH meters are inexpensive and may be found online or at garden centers.

Add calcitic or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda to your soil to boost the pH level. Sulfur or aluminum sulfate can be added to reduce it.

Water

Watering is an essential element for houseplants. If you use too much, you may attract problems such as fungal infections and root rot. Too little, on the other hand, may result in browning and undernourished leaves. Florist’s Gloxinia likes evenly wet soil for optimal health.

Sticking a finger in the pot is one method to check for moisture. When the soil feels dry beyond a half-inch, it’s time to give your plant a drink.

Florist’s Gloxinia requires drainage holes and aerated soil. As a general rule, you don’t want your plant to sit in water for a long time.

You may want to consider bottom-watering your Gloxinia. That is, putting the plant’s pot in a container filled with water to allow its roots to soak up water from the bottom. That way, you can avoid wetting the leaves as this plant is prone to root rot.

It’s a good idea to water regularly but not too much. 

Quick Tips: 

  • Slowly reduce watering at the end of the growing season and stop entirely after the leaves have “died” or have entered their period of dormancy.
  • By February or March, you can slowly introduce water again as it begins its blooming cycle.

Light

Gloxinia prefers bright indirect light. Keep in mind that you’re aiming to replicate how it grows in its natural habitat in Brazil. In most cases, placing this plant near a north-facing window or where there’s a bright spot works fine.

When its leaves are sunburned, you’ll know your Gloxinia is getting too much light. Conversely, if its leaves stop growing, the plant may be getting little light, which may cause slower plant growth.   

Avoid putting your Gloxinia in direct sunlight, as this could severely damage or even kill it. In its dormant period, allow it to hibernate in a dark and cool area.

Fertilizer

Feed your S. Speciosa if you want to give it some extra nutrient boost. Use a liquid flower plant fertilizer every other week during its growing season in the spring and summer.

Here are other plant food options you can use:

Photo Title Price Buy
Fiddle Leaf Fig...image Fiddle Leaf Fig Slow-Release Fertilizer by Perfect Plants - Resealable 5oz. Bag - Consistent Nutrient Enrichment - for Indoor and Outdoor Use on All Ficus Varieties $9.95 ($1.99 / Ounce)
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant...image Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lb. $28.44 ($0.22 / Ounce)
EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer,...image EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer, Made with Recycled Nutrients and Organic Matter, Covers up to 2,500 sq. ft., 45 lbs. $21.94 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic...image Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic Slow Release Fertilizer - 50 Lbs. $137.77 ($0.17 / Ounce)
Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12,...image Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12, Slow Release 3 - 4 Months, 50lbs. Bag $156.68 ($0.20 / Ounce)

During wintertime, when growth naturally slows down, you slowly reduce fertilizing in early September and stop altogether in October.

Propagating Gloxinia

You can reproduce your Gloxinia through various methods. Check out the detailed instructions for each propagation technique listed below. 

Stem Cuttings In Soil

The easiest way to propagate a Gloxinia is by making a cutting and planting it in soil. Early spring to summer is the best time to propagate a Florist’s Gloxinia. Here are the steps for getting started.

1. Collect your cutting. Look for a healthy section of the Gloxinia’s stem with fresh growth with one or two nodes. Cut just below the Florist’s Gloxinia’s nodes with clean gardening shears.

2. Plant your cutting. Directly plant the cutting into African violet mix or gardenia mix soil.

3. Maintain your cutting. Keep the soil around your baby Gloxinia moist and maintain a temperature of approximately 70-78°F.

4. Rotate your cutting. For even growth on all sides of your Gloxinia, rotate the pot now and then.

Stem Cuttings In Water

A Sinningia can be propagated in water with these simple steps.

1. Cut. Take a portion of the stem that has new growth and at least one node.

2. Submerge. Place the cutting in a clear container or a glass of water to watch root development.

3. Maintain. The cutting should then be stored in a well-ventilated, well-lit place.

4. Refill. To avoid bacterial infections, replace the water every 3-5 days.

5. Transplant. Check for fresh growth after two weeks, and then put the cutting into a sterile potting mix if the roots are one inch or longer.

6. Wait. Your new plant may look wilted at first, but this is normal because the roots need to adjust to the soil. At this point, avoid applying fertilizer or any treatments until your plant has the chance to stabilize.

Quick Tip: Propagation by stem cuttings is best done in summer.

Division

Speciosa can be cultivated through a process called division. While this approach is commonly used for crops with various bulbs, tubers, stolons, rhizomes, and suckers, it may also be applied for houseplants with clumping stems.

1. Dig up. Remove the plant from its container. When working with plants and soil, always wear gardening gloves.

2. Separate. You should be able to notice where the roots and stems parted on their own. Pull them apart gently with your fingertips. Remove the roots where the parts meet.

3. Repot. Place each portion in new pots filled with the same soil as before.

Quick Tip: Propagation through division is best done in spring.

Humidity And Aeration

This Sinningia is a delightful plant that prefers high humidity of about 70%.

If your Gloxinia has curling or crispy leaves with brown edges, you may consider getting a humidifier. This equipment is intended to continuously emit steam and considerably increase the humidity in a room. You may also get a tray of wet pebbles to induce the preferred humid environment of these tuberous plants.

Temperature

Generally, warm temperatures are best for your Speciosa plant. This can range between 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit, and it doesn’t appreciate dry heat.

The more significant consideration for this plant is consistency. Sudden temperature changes can heavily damage the Speciosa. In cold weather, close windows and cover any gaps to protect your plant from chilly drafts. Keep it distant from heat vents, which might cause the leaves to dry up.

During its dormancy, let it hibernate in a darker and cooler room at about 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flowers

Gloxinia Speciosa plants are sought-after because of their bright and cheery blooms. Gloxinia flowers come bell-shaped and upright. They can be in a range of vibrant color combinations from red, white gold, or pink to purple. Some even grow petals with white edges, like the Brocade variety.

Gloxinia hybrids, as mentioned, are often considered annuals, so after the plant’s bloom, it may go dormant or die. 

You can encourage reblooming (if you have the non-hybrid variety) by cutting away everything except the bottom two leaves. Side branches may sprout, signaling the beginning of another blooming season. 

Non-Toxic

Sinningia is not hazardous to children or pets. ASPCA stated that it would not hurt dogs or cats if consumed, and there are no toxic elements in the plant.

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Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Gloxinia is a plant resistant to several bugs, issues, and diseases. In the sections below, I’ll lay out some of the common issues of Gloxinia, as well as, some treatment ideas and tactics.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are little insects that eat organic soil materials. Their larvae have been observed devouring plant roots, which is unfortunate news for your Florist’s Gloxinia.

Pyrethrin sprays, neem oil, and hydrogen peroxide are among the agents that target both the flies and the larvae. If you reapply often, you should be able to eradicate these troublesome insects within a few weeks.

We’ve discovered that yellow sticky traps work effectively for dealing with these gnats in our hydroponics systems.

White Flies

Whiteflies, gnat-like pests that feed on the sap of your houseplants, are another common problem for this ornamental plant. Having them on your Florist’s Gloxinia can be a significant inconvenience. They lay eggs that will hatch into larvae that eat the undersides of your plant’s leaves.

Whiteflies can be controlled with a generic insecticide. You may buy it online or create it yourself following the formula below:

• To make your base, combine the following ingredients: 5 drops of dish soap (no bleach!) + 1 cup of vegetable or olive oil.

• Add 1.5 teaspoon to each cup of water  of the prepared solution.

• Shake the solution vigorously before transferring it to a spray bottle.

• Spray all surfaces of the affected plant, paying specific attention to the undersides of the leaves.

Scale Insects

Scales are sap-feeding insects on plants. What separates them from other bugs is that the mature scale will latch onto one portion of the plant and remain there. Armoured scales are brownish lumps that can grow on a plant’s stems or petioles.

To dissuade scales from latching onto your Gloxinia, dilute a teaspoon of neem oil in 500 mL of water, then spray it on the leaves of your plant.

You may also launch ladybugs or lacewings near your affected plant to take care of the problem for you!

Aphids

Aphids are little insects that devour the leaves of your Sinningia, causing black and brown spots.

Apply neem oil or insecticidal soap to treat an infestation. In low dosages, dish detergent may also be used to kill aphids without harming your plant. Ivory Liquid, for example, is a fragrance-free product you may consider using.

Begin with a teaspoon of dish soap diluted in 1 gallon of water, then gradually increase the ratio as needed. Spray this solution on your affected plant, giving special attention to the undersides of the leaves, which are usually infested with aphids.

Mealybugs

Your stunning houseplant can become a victim of a Mealybug infestation. Using their sucking tubes to feed on the plant’s sap, these parasites will weaken your healthy Gloxinias.

As a precautionary measure against a wide range of diseases, I recommend a monthly application of neem oil on your houseplants. Remember to dilute the neem first and to spray only when the weather is cool.   

In the event of an infestation, take a cup of rubbing alcohol and a teaspoon of fragrance-free dish soap, and then mix them with water in a spray bottle. Spray that on Speciosa twice a week until the mealybugs are gone.

Brown Leaf Tips

Occasionally, you might notice brown spots or tips on your Florist’s Gloxinia. This often means that your plant is underwatered or is rapidly losing moisture from its leaves due to transpiration.

Increase the humidity in your indoor growth environment, or water your plant as soon as the topsoil dries out.

Brown leaf tips may also indicate a problem with the plant’s tuberous roots, so make sure your plant is growing in a breathable, well-draining medium.

Drooping Leaves

Mealybugs and other pests can cause the velvety leaves of Gloxinia to droop. This problem can also be due to underwatering, lack of humidity, and lack of nutrients.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves on Sinningia can be caused by a lack of light, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, nutritional deficit, overfertilization, recent root disturbance, temperature and humidity variations, insect infestation, and many other factors.

Don’t worry if you’re confused! Gardening needs trial and error to determine the optimal conditions for your plants, and even professional gardeners are constantly learning new things.

Pruning off yellowing leaves is typically suggested so that the plant does not waste energy attempting to “save” the leaf instead of providing nutrients to new leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common killer of Speciosa. The rotting starts at the roots and then quickly spreads to the stem and foliage. Remember, you should only water when the soil feels dry beyond a half-inch.

Another cause of root rot is poor drainage in the soil. This stunning plant requires an African violet or gardenia mix that stays evenly moist.

Other things you can do to avoid root rot include: drilling holes at the bottom of your pot, choosing high-porosity materials such as terracotta and unglazed ceramic planters, and lengthening the gap between watering schedules.

Similar Plants

Love Florist’s Gloxinia? Here’s another flower-bearing plant you should try:

Sunflower – Let the sunshine in with the popular Sunflower. Keep your home bright and happy all year long with this easy-to-care-for plant that brings a sunny vibe and potentially a snack you can chew on from time to time.

Conclusion

Prized for its velvety and colorful flowers, Gloxinia is a beautiful decoration for your household. If you follow our growing tips, you’ll have no trouble growing this Sinningia.

Do you have Gloxinia plants in your collection? We’d love to see it! Please submit photos to [email protected], and we might post them on our blog!

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