Flowering Gloxinia House Plants
Gloxinias are tuberous plants that are usually grown as house plants. The large leaves of the gloxinia plant are usually arranged in a rosette pattern. They are bright green, with an oblong shape that comes to a point at the end, scalloped edges and a fuzzy texture. The flowers are shaped like bells with the open ends facing up. The tops flare out into separate petals, and the edges are often ruffled. A wide array of colors is available such as pink, purple, white, or red, and some varieties have shade variations like lighter colored edges and middles, or spots. Grown as house plants, gloxinia requires a moderate amount of care and can be very sensitive to its surroundings. It requires bright light, but indirect light is best because it can tolerate only minimal direct sunlight.
A humid, warm environment is best, with temperatures of about 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 24 degrees Celsius). Occasional periods of dormancy may occur at cooler temperatures where the plant stops blooming and some leaves die. Gloxinia house plants should be watered frequently; care needs to be taken, however, to avoid over watering which can cause the roots and tubers to rot. The soil should have good drainage and be kept moist. The leaves should be kept dry, and spent blooms can be pinched off to encourage larger clusters of flowers. To bloom well the plant should be fertilized frequently with a diluted liquid or water soluble fertilizer.
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