Tips & Tricks

Caring for Gloxinia - How to water, fertilize and cut the plant properly

Whether in the garden bed or in the flower pot in the house - gloxinias cut a good figure everywhere. On top of that, they are still very easy to care for and undemanding.

The fact that gloxinias (Sinningia) bloom so eagerly today and come in an unimaginable range of colors is due to a meticulously cultivated selection and variety. For over 100 years, efforts have been made to make gloxinias a popular houseplant through targeted cultivation and also to establish them as garden plants. Here you can find out what needs to be taken into account when taking care of the little blooming miracles. But first, a few nice species are presented.

Biodiversity of the gloxinia

The genus Gloxinie contains about 15 species. The plants originally come from Brazil and allow a certain visual resemblance to the African violet. The related African violets, however, come from Africa.

The trade today mostly offers hybrids produced by crossing. Since the gloxinia was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, intensive breeding and crossbreeding have emerged. The simple and double flowering plants surprise with an impressive richness of colors. The following are particularly popular:

❍ Sinningia speciosa:

Sinningia speciosa is considered the mother of garden gloxinias. In more than 150 years of intensive crossing work, all hybrids currently on the market have been bred. Sinningia speciosa has oval and slightly hairy leaves. The bell-shaped flowers appear between April and October and have a blue-violet color in the original form.

Inning Sinningia pusilla:

This tiny gloxinium representative is only three centimeters high and has tubers the size of peas. The egg-shaped leaves are about one centimeter long. The small single flowers have a white-purple color. This species is less relevant as a houseplant. In contrast, it is found more frequently in botanical collections.

❍ Garden Gloxie:

As already mentioned, the garden gloxinia was bred out of the Sinningia speciosa. The hybrids are visually very similar to the mother plant. In the targeted cultivation, emphasis was placed on obtaining larger and more colorful flowers. The growth appears more compact in the overall picture and the leaves are smaller than in the parent species.

How to properly maintain gloxinias

❍ Water gloxinias:

Potted plants:
The gloxinia places some demands on irrigation. Use slightly tempered and above all low-lime water. Conventional tap water usually contains too much lime. Rainwater is also an option. If you do not have the option of collecting rainwater, you can also add tap water with distilled water.

The houseplants also love high humidity, but should not be sprayed directly. Instead, use a coaster that you fill with water. Then pour the water regularly. However, the plants must not stand directly in the water, as this would cause the roots to rot in the long run.

Place the plant pot on a gravel bed or on clay granulate to prevent the substrate from coming into direct contact with the irrigation water.

You should reduce watering in late summer. The earth can dry off somewhat between the individual watering. As the plant retracts into the tuber, you should restrict the watering more and more. The tubers are not watered during hibernation.

The gloxinium needs sufficient moisture in the garden bed. Especially if you have chosen a sunny location, you should water frequently. The soil should always be moist, but waterlogging should be avoided. To ensure the permeability of the soil, you should cover the substrate with coarse sand, clay or gravel. Recommended reading: Planting Gloxinia - This is how it can be grown in the home and garden.

❍ Fertilize gloxinias:

Houseplants are usually sufficiently supplied with nutrients after purchase and do not require any additional fertilizer in their first year of use. However, the nutrient requirement is particularly high during the flowering period. The houseplant does not differ from the garden gloxinia. Once a week you can help with liquid flower fertilizer.

If you have not repotted the gloxinia after hibernation, fertilizer application is necessary between April and September. This can be liquid fertilizer, but also fertilizer sticks.

Schneiden Cut gloxinias:

Regular cutting measures are not necessary. However, if you want to encourage abundant flowering, you should regularly remove all of the faded parts of the plant. If there are changes on the leaves, if they wilt or change color, they must also be removed.

Let the leaves wither in autumn and only then cut them back close to the ground. If you cut the leaves off immediately after flowering, the plant may no longer be able to ensure the nutrient supply for the winter. This can lead to the death of the gloxinia.

Detect diseases and pests on the gloxinia

Gloxinias are quite robust and are rarely attacked by diseases and pests, provided the location requirements are taken into account and the care instructions are observed.

Äl Leaf flakes - worms on the way:

The plants are susceptible to leaf lice. These are roundworms that are barely visible to the naked eye and live freely in the water. If the gloxinias are poured with the appropriate liquid, the one-millimeter-sized nematodes spread and reach the inside of the leaf through stomata. There the nematodes then suck out the plant cells. The infestation becomes visible when the leaves become glassy in some places. Later the leaves turn brown.

In the case of mild infestation, it is sufficient to remove affected parts of the plant. However, if the infestation has already advanced considerably, the plants must be isolated and disposed of if necessary so that the infestation does not spread to the surrounding plants.

❍ Aphids - voracious pests at work:

A flowering plant is rarely safe from aphids. The dreaded infestation occurs especially in spring and the plant suckers tamper with the leaves. Since aphids reproduce very quickly, just a few weeks are enough to have true colonies gathered on the plants. Aphids reproduce without being dependent on males. Females have far more than 100 offspring.

If you notice the infestation, you must isolate the plants so that the infestation does not spread. The control is usually successful with natural means. In the case of mild infestation, it is usually sufficient to treat the plants with nettle slurry (make the nettle slurry yourself). Since gloxinias don't want to be hosed down, sticking a clove of garlic directly into the ground can also help.

Avoid maintenance errors

Some signs of damage to the gloxina are caused by maintenance errors. Dry and curled leaves indicate that the humidity is too low. The plants should therefore be placed in a coaster filled with water so that they can supply themselves with sufficient humidity.

The plant also does not tolerate waterlogging. It can quickly lead to the rotting of leaves or stems. Therefore, if you regularly remove wilted flowers and leaves, the stem is prevented from rot.